Masturbation is a very important means of learning about our bodies. Masturbation helps our bodies in many ways such as improve sexual health, reduces unwanted pregnancy, and helps prevent sexually transmitted diseases but most importantly it helps us learn about our bodies. Masturbation is usually seen as a bad thing when really it is way of helping our bodies. Although Masturbation is seen as an absurd and inappropriate subject to talk about and should be kept private people shouldn’t feel ashamed for doing it. We believe that people might feel ashamed of it or to do it is because they are scared that they won’t be considered a virgin any more or that people will see them differently like as dirty.
When kids hit a certain age around the time they hit puberty they should be informed about how masturbating a natural thing is. They also should be informed the appropriate times to do it and where.
“For example, remind your child that touching her vulva
(or his penis) is a private behavior.” “… remind her she
needs to be in private (ideally the bedroom or bathroom
with the door closed).” “When genital touching occurs in
public, repetitive, gentle, and discreet reminders about
the inappropriateness of the behavior when others are
around or in public places is usually all that is needed”.
By teaching kids at an earlier age that it is ok to masturbate it can break the judgments and shame that people have towards masturbating. This can help future generations to be less judgmental and better understands the subject.
Human Sexuality SOC 021
In our society there have been perceptions and myths regarding masturbation. In the past, many religious cultures viewed it as a sin and even a topic to not discuss, let alone do. Today that outdated ideology has shifted, and is seen as normal and an important mean of learning about our bodies. An author from advocates for youth (2007) notes, “Many people cannot imagine that everyone—babies, children, teens, adults, and the elderly—are sexual beings. Some believe that sexual activity is reserved for early and middle adulthood. Teens often feel that adults are too old for sexual intercourse. Sexuality, though, is much more than sexual intercourse and humans are sexual beings throughout life.”
The topic of masturbation is way to self-explore the body according to Melanie Davis, New Jersey Center for Sexual Wellness. That is a healthy way we understand our bodies and what pleasure we desire during sexual intimacy. We should not have a weird attitude about self-exploration. There have also been common myths regarding this topic including masturbation “leads to mental illness”, does not cause infertility — men and boys will not run out of sperm”, and it “ does not make you gay” just to reference a few according to planned parenthood. These myths have existed throughout history and today are not looked at as a common belief in our society. In our modern world we view masturbation now as healthy and that we shouldn't feel weird masturbating or even discussing the health benefits of masturbating. "Most doctors agree it is normal and healthy." Melanie Davis writes “We can have this discussion with also for example youth who are struggling to understand their bodies during changes in puberty, and often because of the negative stigma that was attached Human Sexuality SOC.021
to it”. As adults we may feel with the idea of talking to our kids about it, however in the end it can actually help the child feel more confident as an adult during his stages of puberty which are very vulnerable times for youth. "By putting your own embarrassment aside, you will continue the process of helping your child become a sexually confident and happy adult." There are times where we should talk to children where it is appropriate to masturbate. Parents should be careful when talking to them about it and to not make them feel like they are engaging in harmful behavior. Masturbation is very common. Studies show that about 7 out of 10 adult men and more than 5 out of 10 adult women masturbate. It’s also common for children and teens to masturbate." (www.plannedparenthood.org)
So we can see that it is common and more people take part in it than expected Masturbation is not viewed as any mental disorder. However If it is interfering with your day to day life then it may be considered an issue. "Excessive Masturbation may indicate a more serious psychological or personal problem." (The Great Masturbation Scare, ca1710-1910) Although most people do not suffer from excessive masturbation it is possible, and this may be due to a variety of reasons that either can or cannot be determined. Both children and adults may be showing these signs if they are to be evaluated and determined if they should seek professional help or not. Most people will continue to masturbate throughout their lives because throughout people's lives we are sexually beings. Masturbation is a way of sexual expression so it is likely we will continue to masturbate in our lifetime.
Human Sexuality SOC.021
Throughout the entire book masturbation is looked at as a great way to relieve sexual tension, help in unwanted pregnancies and a great way to learn about an individual’s likes and dislikes during a pleasurable experience. The strengths in these arguments are practically the pros of masturbation. People have tasks and goals in life. Getting the bills paid, mowing the lawn, writing an essay for the best sociology class ever, and a whole lot of endless responsibilities. When the pressures of life become too hard to handle and you’re looking for that instant satisfaction, why not masturbate? Masturbation can also help when it is time to be intimate with a partner. For example, according to Dr. Debby Herbenick, from Kinseyconfidential.org,” masturbation can help men learn to control the timing of their ejaculation, and to last longer if they would like to.” From this site, I learned about the start-stop method, which involves the male stopping just before the point of orgasm, to let the erection slightly decrease, then start up again(Kinseyconfidential.org). If a person is a premature ejaculator they can use this method in order to ensure both parties will achieve satisfaction. Any subject will have strengths and weaknesses; masturbation is one that can have dire consequences, if you let it. But for the most part, it is beneficial for a person’s self-esteem, learning of one’s sexuality and helps in maintaining a stress.
A weakness we found from the author is that the book doesn’t dive in to what can go wrong if a person were to become obsessed with masturbation. One can only learn through their mistakes or by seeing what can become of such choices. What is argued against masturbation usually pertains to the quantity of the act itself. The act itself can teach us about what we enjoy sexually, but too much of a good thing can come with horrendous consequences. For example, according to healthcaremagic.com, Dr. Yogesh states that, “Excessive masturbation can have some harmful effects.” Some of these include abrasions on the foreskin from friction. Just because it’s pleasurable doesn’t mean it won’t wear down. Another con for masturbation is if a person is spending too much time indulging and ignores the social world, this can cramp a person’s lifestyle and activities. Missing important tasks or spending all of your money on pornography on an ongoing basis will lead to an obsession that can result in shame and guilt. Control is the key to anything. Life is all about balance. We must know how to manage our time and curb our urges to lead a healthy life.
Masturbation has always been a delicate discussion among society. Many don’t like to speak about it because they view it as immoral. This topic could be very sensitive not only when it involves adults but children as well. Teaching kids and teens that masturbation isn’t a bad thing can go against the customs that they have followed growing up, but experts now days encourage parents to think differently about this subject. Like the author in the book, Teaching Children about Their Bodies, Boundaries, and Sexuality, clearly states that “[the norm] in infancy and childhood is all about healthy curiosity about body parts and their functions, and that exploration and touching of genitals [is] common” (Couwenhoven 2007). It’s obvious that at this age young kids don’t really understand why they are stimulating the genitals, but it’s a good way of self-exploration and learning about our bodies.
This outside source helps strengthen the argument because they believe that many “boys and men (girls and women) who touch their own private body parts is okay” (Couwenhoven 2007). Masturbation is seen as a private activity in which you do not expose to the public, and for teens this should be a very important teaching. The author is all about teaching children and adolescents the importance of masturbation, but knowing when and where to do it. “This action communicates acceptance about the behavior, but also teaches rules about safety and appropriate behavior” (Couwenhoven 2007). Masturbation is the most frequent type of sexual activity for most young people until they begin forming stable relationships in late adolescence, therefore being a normal aspect about exploring our bodies. It is clear that the author of this book, Terri Couwenhoven, is seen more of a support for our argument in which masturbation is seen as an important means of learning about our bodies.
We as a group agree with the author of, Human Sexuality, Diversity in Contemporary America, in regards with masturbation being healthy and a normal part of development. “Through masturbation, children and adolescents learn what is sexually pleasing, how to move their bodies and what their natural rhythms are.” ( Yarber, Sayad, Strong, p.279, 2008) The author states that through masturbation we can learn about our bodies and that there are several reasons such as for sexual tension, either because the partner is not available or does not want to have sex. The author also states how before masturbation was viewed as an illness, “‘masturbation is the primary sexual activity of [human] kind. In the nineteenth century it was a disease; in the twentieth century its a cure.’ ” ( Szasz, p.279, 2008)
To Summarize, our group agrees with the author that masturbation is a normal and healthy part of growing up and one can masturbate and it will not have any sort of negative impact on one’s life if done wisely. We also agree that masturbation is also a vital way to fully understand our bodies needs and it can also help us understand what pleasures we are looking for during sexual intimacy.