If you are the parent of a teenager, you may or may not know whether he or she is masturbating. You may wonder if the time your teen spends alone, behind the closed bathroom door, or during long showers is emotionally and physically healthy. Or you may worry about whether it is possible to masturbate too much or whether your teenager could hurt his or her genitalia.
We may be hesitant to acknowledge that our children are sexual beingssometimes in defiance of our own childhood experiences. And nowhere is the clash between parents, kids, and pleasure more real than when a child discovers masturbation. The shock of realizing that a child is touching himself or herself can cause parents to feel shocked, panicked and worried.
As part of a larger study of parental roles in sex education, a stratified probability sample of parents of three- to eleven-year-old children were interviewed about their knowledge, attitudes, and practices with reference to "masturbation" on the part of their children. A large majority of parents accepted the fact that children did masturbate, a smaller majority agreed that masturbation among children was alright, but less than half wanted their children as adolescents to have a positive attitude toward masturbation. Identified events of masturbation were reported to be more common among boys than girls, with mothers reporting higher incidences for both boys and girls than fathers reported.
There I said it. Shocking as the word and act are to many, masturbation is a normal aspect of childhood sexuality that many parents find difficult to talk about. Part of this is the difficulty in acknowledging that kids are sexual beings. Of course little kids are not thinking about having sex, but that doesn't mean they don't know that their genitalia is sensitive and feel different than their other body parts.
For the most part young people are left to work this out for themselves. However I get many young people accessing BISH for information about how to do it safely, sometimes young people have hurt themselves or are worried about doing it too much. So some parents may feel that they do need to talk about this — but how?
Embarrassment as a parent is nothing new. Children making parents cringe is as old as time itself. Rather, children between the ages of four months and five years of age tend to rub up against things, like furniture, a car seat, and yes, that beloved stuffed toy.
When it is time to talk about masturbation? How do you do it? As you can imagine, many parents feel nervous and uncomfortable when it comes to talking to their children about sex.
There aren't many things more terrifying than looking back at your younger days and realizing that you probably weren't as sneaky as you thought you were. Whether it was watching movies with naked people late at night, doing drugs when your parents weren't home or furiously masturbating as frequently as possible, chances are you weren't as subtle as you might have convinced yourself at the time. If that last paragraph was the catalyst for a myriad of memories from your pubescent years, I apologize.
Few studies have explored the hormonal triggers for masturbation in infants and young children. Thus, we aimed to study the sex hormones and clinical profiles of masturbating infants and young children. All children underwent basic laboratory investigations prior to referral.