From the Prehistoric Era to Modern Times: A Historical Perspective on Masturbation
Good morning. I'm here to talk about a sensitive topic, an issue that is present since the beginning of mankind but is only being widely accepted today. Before anything else, I will show you some pictures. Can anyone please tell me what these ancient images depict? Are they cooking? Are they worshiping their gods? You're correct. They are masturbating! Ancient people express their emotions and everything they see in drawings. These drawings serve as a mirror that reflects their early society and these images show us that masturbation had been practiced since the dawn of mankind. Most early people seem to have connected human sexuality with abundance in nature. Male masturbation became an important image in ancient Egypt: when performed by a god it could be considered creative or magical act. The god Atum was believed to have created the universe by masturbating to ejaculation, and the flow of the Nile was attributed to the frequency of his ejaculations.
The word masturbation is believed to derive from either the Greek word mezea (penises) or the Latin manus (hand) and the Latin turbare (to disturb). It is interesting to note that in 1960, The Pocket Oxford Dictionary once offered the definition bodily self-pollution'. This shows that there were once a period of time that masturbation is said to be abnormal.
It was primarily during the 1700 and 1800 when masturbation was first associated with mental and physical deficiencies. Some prominent physicians, scientists, philosophers, and religious leaders believed that illnesses such as insanity, vision and hearing problems, epilepsy, mental retardation, and general health problems were caused by self-stimulation. In fact, over 60% of medical and mental illnesses were blamed on masturbation. The fear of masturbation was so great that throughout the world, extreme preventive measures were instituted including the use of mechanical restraints, genital surgery, and physical discipline. Between 1856 and 1932, the US Patent Office, awarded 33 patents to inventors of anti-masturbation devices. Here are some anti-masturbation devices:
The Cage-- The Handbook of Medicine in 1885 offered a metal cage that could be put around a boys genitals. It would allow erections, which weren't seen as wrong, yet would prevent the boy from touching himself.
Spike-lined Ring-- Created to prevent the nocturnal emissions and any display of nighttime sexuality, spike-lined penis rings were created in the 1950's by doctors in Boston.
Bowen Device-- This device was like a cup that was placed over the head of the penis and attached to pubic hair by chains and clips. When the wearer got an erection, the pubic hair would be plucked painfully and the wearer would have to respond.
Dr. Moodie Apparatus for Boys-- This device was designed to prevent masturbation by inflicting electric shocks upon the perpetrator, by ringing an alarm bell, and through spikes at the inner edge of the tube into which the penis is inserted.
Obviously, we don't see these apparatus anymore. This is due to the emergence of sex in media that there is more sexual freedom in people nowadays. That's why masturbation is not considered taboo anymore and has been accepted as a normal part of sexuality in men and women alike. In fact, many studies have been made with regards to masturbation.
According recent studies, frequency of masturbation is determined by many factors, one's resistance to transient sexual tension, hormone levels influencing sexual arousal, and one's attitude to masturbation formed by culture.
It is thought that most people begin masturbating when reaching adolescence. Many scholarly and clinical studies have been done on the matter, and many informal surveys have asked the question. A 2004 survey by Toronto magazine NOW was answered by an unspecified number of thousands. The results show that...
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