Ahmad (1) defines masturbation as the sexual stimulation of an individual’s genitals, in most cases to the point of organism. The process of stimulation can be undertaken manually or by use of forms of bodily contacts (short of sexual contact), it could also be through the use of objects or tools or through a combination of all these techniques. A person can practice self-masturbate (autoeroticism) or can decide to do it with their partner, otherwise referred to as mutual masturbation.
Both men and women have masturbating characteristics and techniques in common although there are particular preferences in the manner in which they like masturbating or to be masturbated. According to studies, masturbation is a regular in humans of both sexes and among all age groups however there are disparities. Other than there being many psychological land medical advantages of masturbation, it is still not openly accepted for some reasons as discussed below (Levine, 1).
The first reason is that most communities see the act as a taboo and they do not want to be associated with it. For instance in English-speaking nations, doctors introduced extensive circumcision of infants to discourage masturbation because it is so painful and they could threaten children to keep off from masturbation (Cook, 1). This is still seen today as many communities especially in Africa still consider it a taboo, discouraging many people to come out openly in its support.
Secondly religious believes condemn masturbation, with Conservative Protestants being in the forefront. Therefore masturbation has been on Christians’ receiving end for various reasons, one of them being that it is sinful. Due to this most of Christians who engage in this practice feel devastatingly guilt to announce them. As a result, the guilt is enough reason to avoid it. Secondly, Christians see it as a sinful act and since the Bible condemns all sinful acts, the cat goes against the will of God.
Another is because of masturbation’s perceived side effects. Many parents have warned their children not to practice it because they fail to understand the fact of the process; they think that it can lead to acne, sterility, hairy palms (Calstleman, 2). It should there be understood that there some are some side effects linked to this habit, among them: it makes ejaculation to hold longer hence difficult to reach climax, if done frequently it can irritate the skin of the penis, it van lead to penile fracture in some rare situations, the guilt of masturbation can result to erectile dysfunction and depression.
On the other hand, there are many benefits drawn from the act of masturbation. First of all it is beyond doubt that it is safe. Additionally in men, masturbation protects them against prostate cancer because according to research men who practice it more than five times weekly during their 20’s are less likely to develop more severe forms of prostate cancer (33%) in future. Another reason is that masturbation acts as a stress reliever because it releases serotonin hormone that makes individuals feel better and relax.
To a large extent, the process induces restful sleep and this has been employed for many years by native cultures like in Hawaii to induce sleep. After ejaculation, we fell like sleeping due to powerful combination of chemical substances secreted after ejaculation from orgasm. Prolactin and oxytocin are chemicals released by the brain during ejaculation and they combine to make one sleepy after the process (Bockting, 38). Again, masturbation helps individuals to discover the best ways of being sexually stimulated and helps may people, especially women who rarely reach orgasm while with partners to achieve it on their own.
Among women, masturbation is very beneficial because it also helps to prevent cervical illness and aid in relieving urinary tract infections (Bockting, 40). The main reason behind this is that when women masturbate, their cervix tends to open due to organism. It is also linked to enhanced cardiovascular health and less type 2-diabetes risk. Additionally, the orgasm enhances the strength of pelvic floor.
There are other general emotional and psychological benefits of masturbation that include: improving the moods of individuals, relieving stress, it strengthens the sexual relationship with partners and also strengthens individuals’ self relationships (Bockting & Coleman, 32).
Due to the controversial nature of the topic of masturbation, I conducted an interview whose main objective was to establish the percentage of men and women who engage in masturbation and their perception concerning this issue (Levine, 2). Other than this, the interview sought to find out if individuals are free to talk about masturbation, especially those who practice it now that it is in the public domain that a big percentage of people of all ages and across both sexes masturbate. The interview was conducted on face-to-face basis.
Those eligible for the interview were picked basing on their age and in this case, the required age was citizens aged between 18 years old and 60 years old. The ratio of both men and women was balanced and it composed of ten men and ten women.
Due to the time factor, the interview had only one question that was meant to provoke the audience to speak out all the information they knew about the masturbation (Levine, 1). The question was, “How frequent did you masturbate on average, in the last 12 months?”
There are possibilities that face-to-face might mode of interview might have concealed the response obtained because due to the guilt some individuals could not reveal their masturbation experience but on a general scale, the interview served its purpose.
The results of my interview were as follows. Out of then interviewed men, 6 admitted having masturbated over the stated period. This therefore can be interpreted to signify that 60% of men masturbate. On the other hand, out of 10 women, only four of them admitted having undertaken masturbation during the said period, a representation of 40% among women owning up to the practice.
Calstleman (1) suggests that previous studies had revealed that men are more likely to masturbate as of their teens into their middle age, it was partially so in my interview because their rate of masturbation dropped from the age of 50, however on average, masturbating men seem to continue with the behavior in later years as the men revealed that they had friends over the age of 60 still masturbating.
On the other hand, it appears that young women take some time to initiate to masturbation. My interview study revealed that women aged between 20 and 39 years were most likely to masturbate and the rate was lower between the 18 and 20. There was also an observation that from the age of 40 years old, the rate of women who exercised masturbation also reduced.
With other researches indicating that masturbation rates are likely to increase with higher education levels, sexual experiment prior to puberty, high incidences of sexual thoughts and high number sexual relationship during lifetime (Ahmad, 2). This was also true according to my interview as among the men who owned, four of them were graduates hence 40% of this group and 2 women were well educated hence 20% of their group.
Another observation that was very clear in my interview was those who practiced it were using it as an alternative and convenient source, mainly among those who lacked lovers. Out of men who responded positively, 4 among them were single, this was 66.6 %. Consequently among the women who positively responded, 2 were single hence coincidentally also representing 66.6% of them.
In conclusion, is widely being practiced by people of all ages and both sexes. Contrary to the believe that women top the list of those masturbate, studies among them my interview reveal that I is actually men who practiced it more frequently. Above all, the practice is healthy as it has both medical and psychological benefits and those indulging in it should not shy away, however, there are some side effects linked to it.