Online sex survey explores ‘Faking it’


femalesign.jpgTwo psychology students want women to tell the truth about their sexual lies.

Candi Holzer and Sage Aragon, both seniors and psychology majors, are the researchers behind an online survey designed to figure out why females pretend to orgasm with their partners.

It began as an independent research project for Associate Professor Karen Yescavage, they approached her asking if she needed any help with research, Aragon said. This particular topic seemed interesting to them and it hadn’t been very widely researched before.

“Sexual experience is an interesting area to work in anyway,” Aragon said.

The topic of pretending orgasm began in pop culture, in movies such as the 1989 film “When Harry Met Sally,” Holzer said. But as far as scientific research goes, it’s considered a new area.

They wanted to find information on the topic with empirical research, based on experiment and observation, instead of artificial magazines like Cosmopolitan, but the information was sparse and hard to find, Aragon said.

Many of the scientific articles said that women should fake it for the man’s sake; the students wanted people’s opinions on the subject, so they decided to come up with a survey, Holzer said. They wanted to find reasons why women fake it and why they continue to do it.

The survey is based on collecting information from participants past sexual experiences, so they can try to figure out the factors as to why women pretend, Aragon said.

They decided to focus on heterosexual women, but they said that they want people to know that pretending is not exclusive to women.

“As women, it’s easier to study women,” Holzer said. 

It is less likely that a man will fake it, but possible, Aragon said.  It can also happen in homosexual relationships and is found in a variety of sexual acts, not only intercourse, she said.

They want as diverse a group of women to study as possible: different ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, Holzer said.  It is important to study a wide variety of women to better understand why this occurs, she said.

They hope to find out what purpose pretending serves in relationships, in regards to honesty and openness and overall human thought processes, Aragon said.

As psychologists, they study behaviorism; why people do the things they do, Aragon said. They hope this study will lead them to answers as to why women pretend, what factors are associated with pretending, she said.

This is just preliminary research and they said they don’t expect to find any cause and effect results through this study. They are hoping to see the factors that lead women to pretend and if those factors are related to certain traits, Aragon said. They said that they expect those traits will lead them to more questions.

They need as many participants as possible, because the larger the sample they can collect, the more reliable the results can be. So they would like all women over the age of 18 to participate. To participate in the simple online survey, simply click on the link below:


For more information on this survey, or for any questions, call Karen Yescavage at: 549-2719.