Fortunately, doctors no longer tell people that masturbation causes insanity, fits, blindness and impotence. These warnings were quite untrue – masturbation does none of these harms. Although people often feel guilty about masturbation, it has many good aspects.
- It is a safe sex activity much better than sexual activities that could give you a sexually transmitted infection.
- It helps you become familiar with your body and your sexual responses.
- It can help you fulfil your sexual needs if you are having difficulty finding a new sexual partner that you are happy with.
- It can help you release tension and relax, and some people find it helps them get to sleep.
- It may be good for your health; a survey of more than 29,000 US men found that those with the highest number of ejaculations (including ejaculations produced by masturbating) possibly had a lower risk of prostate cancer (Journal of the American Medical Association 2004;291:1578–86).
- Some people worry that they are masturbating too much. It is difficult to know what the average is.
- A survey of Australian teenagers between 15 and 18 years of age reported that both boys and girls masturbated, but boys did it more frequently; 38.2% of boys but only 8.7% of girls masturbated three or more times a week (Psychological Reports 1996;79:499–509).
- A UK survey of men and women between 16 and 25 years of age found that 73% of men and 36.8% of women had masturbated in the previous month (Archives of Sexual Behaviour 2008;37:266–78).
Of course, people may not tell the truth on questionnaires about intimate subjects such as masturbation; the females in these surveys might have felt embarrassed about admitting how often they masturbated.
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Thursday, May 29th 2014
516 people have
tackled this problem!
Tell us your thoughts
Did you find what you were looking for?
Add a comment
A problem shared is a problem halved: help others by sharing your frustrations or successes at tackling your health problem.
We have noticed that many of your queries are actually answered on the website, so please read carefully before submitting a comment. As all comments are moderated, there will be a delay before your comment appears. Please note that we cannot respond to individual requests for feedback.