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Masturbation: Questions and Answers

WHAT IS MASTURBATION?
Masturbation refers to touching one's own sex organs for pleasure. Other terms used to describe masturbation include self-pleasuring, solitary sex or self-love.

WHO MASTURBATES?

ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS?

WHY DO PEOPLE MASTURBATE?
Reasons given by people who masturbate include:

MYTHS:
The following are myths relating to masturbation that are unfounded in medical and social science.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF MASTURBATION:
A number of studies have proven the benefits of self-pleasuring to mental, social and physical health.

CAN A PERSON BECOME ADDICTED OR MASTURBATE TOO MUCH?
People often wonder about the normal amount of masturbation. Each person must decide for himself or herself how much to masturbate. Professionals agree that there are no physical or mental implications for frequent masturbation, unless it is symptomatic of an obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD). Symptoms of OCD are repeatedly performing a behavior to the extent that it interferes with daily functioning, professional responsibilities, or personal relationships.

Behaviors that are performed to reduce stress or alleviate tension, including masturbation, are not considered symptomatic of a disorder unless they interfere with a person’s daily personal or professional life or hinder a person from fulfilling their responsibilities and commitments.

References:
The information in this handout was obtained from the following:

Masturbation-From Stigma to Sexual Health. The White Paper, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (2002). http://www.plannedparenthood.org
Barbach, Lonnie. (2000, 1976). For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality
Dodson, Betty (1995). Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving.
Cornog, Martha (2003). The Big Book of Masturbation.
Masturbation: From myth to sexual health. (2003) Contemporary Sexuality, 37, 3, pp. i-vii.
Komisaruk, B., Beyer-Flores, C., and Whipple, B. The Science of Orgasm Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.


If you are a registered University of Illinois student and you have questions or concerns,
or need to make an appointment, please call: Dial-A-Nurse at 333-2700

 

If you are concerned about any difference in your treatment plan and the information in this handout,

you are advised to contact your health care provider.

 

Visit the McKinley Health Center Web site at: http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu


HEd. III-226

© The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 2008.

04-02-08

masturbation

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