8 Reasons Why More Teens Should Masturbate – DrZhana

[email protected]

send me an email

8 Reasons Why More Teens Should Masturbate

Masturbation—stimulation of your own genitals for sexual pleasure—has a very rocky history in the U.S., especially when it comes to teens. Only a short century ago, self-pleasure was considered both morally evil and harmful to physical and mental health, and so clergy, public officials, and medical doctors all embarked on a quest to rid humanity of this horrifying “self-abuse.” Some of the more fortunate outcomes of this effort gave us things like Kelogg’s corn flakes and Graham crackers (their inventors believed these bland foods would curb sexual desire). Other “solutions” were much scarier involving some pretty drastic measures such as surgical removal of the clitoris, burning the clitoris with carbolic acid, threading silver wire through the foreskin of the penis or sawing it shut to prevent erections, or locking the penis in various barbaric chastity devices.

Things are certainly better, and more humane, for sexually charged teens and adults today, but remnants of the anti-masturbation hysteria still plague our country. When former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders —the “Nation’s Doctor” in 1994—suggested masturbation should be taught as a means of preventing teens from engaging in riskier forms of sexual activity, she was asked to resign. Only a couple of years ago, Brigham Young University–Idaho launched an anti-masturbation campaign comparing masturbation to a war battlefield and those who pleasure themselves to wounded soldiers. Of all sex-related topics, masturbation is the one that parents are more uncomfortable discussing with their teenage kids (and so they either avoid it or present it in a very negative light), and even doctors avoid this topic when talking to teens about sex.

All this negativity rubs off on teens of both sexes, but especially girls. Research shows that among US teens ages 14-17, about 25% of boys and about 50% of girls have never masturbated, and even more have not done it in the past month: 50% of boys and 75% of girls. And many teens, both those who do and do not masturbate, frequently feel guilt and shame around this practice.


All this is quite sad, because the reality is, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with masturbating. In fact, it can have a number of positive benefits for teens of all genders. Head on over to the piece I wrote for Teen Vogue this month for 8 reasons on why more teens should masturbate.

Related Posts

  • Upcoming Events Update!

    I’ve got a couple of exciting live events happening in the next few weeks! Check out all the info below: ​​​​​​​​​​​​ THURSDAY, 12/6, 7PM: Doctor’s Orders: Real Doctors Debate Your Toughest Questions What happens when a biologist, physician, neuroscientist and sex researcher join together to answer questions you may have never felt comfortable asking your own doctor? Join us at The Assemblage (in NoMad) to find out in the new game-show like panel as we incite audience participation, ask hard, silly or downright strange questions and hear top experts in their respective fields discuss topics that feel taboo even in the privacy

  • A New Study Explains Why Many Lesbians Are Biased Against Bisexual Women

    Bisexual folks commonly fall victim to the “double stigma” surrounding their sexual orientation. Compared to heterosexuals, lesbian and gay folks still have more positive attitudes towards bisexual people, but compared to other gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, asexual and pansexual people, lesbians and gay men harbor the most bi-negativity. “So, why are many lesbians so anti-bi? A new study recently published in the journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity suggests that this might be due to what the researchers call the androcentric desire hypothesis: The fact that people (gay men and lesbians alike) perceive bisexuals as being more sexually attracted to men

  • Study Finds Queer Folks Are 20 Times More Likely to Be Activists Than Cishets

    Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are more likely to be activists in more than just the LGBT movement, according to recent research. It wouldn’t come as a surprise that people are most likely to engage in activism for their own group: There are far fewer men than women at feminist rallies, for example, and far fewer heterosexuals than queer folks at pride marches. But is there some crossover between social movements? In other words, are people who belong to one stigmatized group more likely to be also active in social movements that primarily affect other stigmatized groups? A new study using a

The Science of Sex Podcast

The Science of Sex Podcast

Listen to comedian, Joe Pardavila, and I sit down each week with a new sex researcher to talk about the latest information on anything and everything to do with sex.