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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Masturbation and culture

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Author Topic: Masturbation and culture
twiceagainyesterday
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Until this year, I was taught abstinence-only sex-ed. This year, we have the full bag of information about birth control.

And also, this year has marked the first time anyone has said masturbation. It was a positive thing, our teacher, basically said, "Sometimes girls have sex to get an orgasm they could get themselves. Masturbation could help you figure out how to get an orgasm." I thought this was great, considering how we aren't "supposed" to be sexual beings until 16, and 18 if you are a gay male (that is another topic altogether).

Now, my entire class was grossed out. This bugged me. Our class is varied, racially and religiously. And along all borders, disgust registered at the thought of masturbation.

So, I was wondering... In your culture and/or relgion, is masturbation, especially female masturbation, which seems to be condemned and repressed far more than male masturbation (I, personally, didn't even know women could masturbate, too, until my friends mentioned it when I saw 12 or 13), acceptable generally?


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Heather
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I think it's important you realize there is an extra factor at play here: in other words, there is a difference between a private reaction to the topic of masturbation, and the reaction in a classroom as a group.

So, what you're bound to see is not so much a person's actual reaction, but the reaction a person feels he or she is expected to have, and which they feel is acceptable in that group.

Might actually be worth going up to your teacher, noting to him or her that you really appreciated what was said, and your feelings about the group reaction, as it might give that teacher something to work with and address.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Pumpkin_Pie
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Well, actually, I don't think I've ever heard the word masturbation in my classroom.

But I do have a story about a religion class my friend was in:

The teacher was saying how contraception was evil because it stopped the beginning of a life and was the same as murdering a foetus(whatever).

And so, my friend putup her hand and asked:

So, is masturbation genocide?


Masturbation is still one of those topics that mentioned, inside or outside the classroom, so I don't know what people think about it.

Masturbation is a private thing, so I don't really think its any of my business anyway.


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summergoddess
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Hmm... Masterbation is a common thing, but is usually kept private because generally females are scared of what others will say. I started this when i was like 12 but anyways. Masterbation at my highschool was never brought up in class (but was discussed around with my friends off campus). Masterbation was mentioned for the first time in university in almost all of my classes. So just thank your teacher for being open

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~Jules


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mistressmegan
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Yes female masturbation is often frowned upon by the general poupulation. I always noticed girls would say "some girls masturbate but not me". Which was an amusing statment when i discovered the opposite was true with them .
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Chinyere85
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Yeah, I'd say that in the mainstream culture, female masterbation is often looked down upon and not even brought up. Immediatedly when it is brought up, one assumes "male masterbation," and various euphamisms for the act ensue. Males seem to be more comfortable with admitting their acts...especially around other males. At least that's here. I've been around enough guys to overhear various discussions.

But, in terms of religion and culture, masterbation is often a big debate. Being in a family of two different major religions, I can speak to this somewhat. There is no specific word in either scripture forbidding masturbation, but some leaders have taken it upon themselves to create interpretations and "suppliments" if you will to what the repsective Holy books do not provide.

I know that masterbation is looked down upon generally in both religions and it is considered a sin by many in the other. But, there are always the more liberal members of each religion who do not take the text so literally and perhaps look at it more symbolicaly, in which there is no justification for the denouncing of masturbation.

And certainly, in my own opinion, masterbation is not wrong morally, at least for the religious faith of the average religious person in western society. If the objective is to remain chaste until marriage, you have to relieve the sexual tension somehow. The only religious/moral argument that could hold some validity is the fact that, when one masterbates, they think "impure thoughts." And from there it branches to the individual's understanding of morals and whether thinking something wrong (ie. rape, incest, audultry, beastiality, other religious sins) is as bad as doing the thing itself and etc.

And I agree with the concensus that the "eww" reaction was perhaps because of personal insecurities. People generally react like that when they are uncomfortable. I have a friend who says "eww" to a lot of things, including the mention of gynecologists, so I see where it could come from.

And wow, long reply. I'll sit down now.


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UKgirl
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quote:
Originally posted by Chinyere85:
The only religious/moral argument that could hold some validity is the fact that, when one masterbates, they think "impure thoughts." And from there it branches to the individual's understanding of morals and whether thinking something wrong (ie. rape, incest, audultry, beastiality, other religious sins) is as bad as doing the thing itself and etc.

I'm no expert on religion, but from my limited knowledge of christianity it seems that there is some element of certain thoughts being considered sinful (all that coverting and stuff), but I guess thats open to interpretation.


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CutiePie4eva
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masterbation... i can say that with a straight face and not shudder in the least online, but in person... i would freak out havig to talk about masterbation in class unless its just the technicalities...

its def. something that i would not be comfortable talking with *anyone* about unless... mayb my bf would pry it out of me... even than it would take a whole lot of trust for me to admit i do it...

i remember with my ex i asked him if he masterbated... and he admitted to doing it once in awhile... and after i found out women could (yup... lol i was once that naive b4 i found this site... i didnt even know women COULD! ::looks embarresed:: lol) anywat... i think its kinda of funny that the thought didnt even cross his mind to ask if i did (even though at the time i didnt and would have been like... ummm... who what and how?).

i really think that society make it feel like its okay for guys to masterbate, but its a no-no for girls. and i think the thought is that "normal" females just dont do it becuase i know that if the idea that girls would or could masterbate he would have inquired (hes just like that lol).

i was actually talking to my close friend about it... (a girl) and i wasnt going to admit anything close to doing it myself, but she was saying how some girl was telling her how she masterbates all the time and everyone does. my friend told her that NOT eveyone does becuase shes one who DOES NOT... and she was totally grossed out by the idea and everything. i ended up coming off agreeing that it was kinda gross, but that a lot of people DO do it. and its not any of anyone else what a person does. i know she could tell that i wasnt as grossed out as she was with the thought of masterbation tho.

o well... its all good. i actually still am a bit grossed out by the idea of not having any kind of barrier between my hand and genetalia (sp?), but thats okie... i dont have a bathroom at hand (my room is on the 2nd floor... and the bathroom is on the 1st)... so i'll just stick to masterbation with close on. =) (i hope that wasnt too much info)

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dont worrie, b happie!!!!
it's all good (...i suppose)

Dont interrupt me when i'm talking to myself!

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It's already tomorrow in Australia."
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lemming
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I've always had more guy friends than girl friends, especially when I was in my freshman-sophomore years of high school. At one point with my group of guy friends, the topic of masturbation came up, and I admitted that yes, I do masturbate. The guys were astonished - not because I did, but because I SAID that I did. Their consensus was that everyone did it, whether they'd admit it or not.

In my experience, though, a lot of girls don't know they can masturbate, or don't know how. Some come to it sooner or later than others. Some boys don't figure it out till later. But although I think that my culture is reluctant to admit that girls masturbate, I think it's mostly (but less) reluctant to talk about guys' masturbation, too.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders, anyone?

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Laurel Lemming
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Daydreamer24
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Masturbation. With a "u".

Just out of curiosity, Cutiepie4eva, why does it bother you to talk about it? You don't have to answer, I'm just wondering.

I can have an open conversation about masturbation with anybody. My Dad, my Mom, my Grandma. It just doesn't bother me.


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Laurae
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I think that the only time that I ever heard masturbation mentioned in the classroom was when we passed in those little anonomous questions sheets that my school passed out and I asked about it. The teacher was very vague, and said: "It's when someone touches their genitals." No one was able to respond as was normal during the "anonomous question and answer time".

I think, that if schools want to make the decision to tell us what to do with ourselves in a sexual manner, which seems to be abstinence, they should at least mention masturbation.

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Laurae

"Music is essentially useless, as life is." George Santayana (1863 - 1952)


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platzapS
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I was on ChristianForums.com, and I guess masturbation is still considered morally wrong by many Christians.

I, personally, think it's fine if it doesn't interrupt your life seriously. I guess its considered a form of sex, and some say it devalues 2-person sex.

I'm a Christian, but sometimes I have to say that a lot of Christians are a little over the edge :-)


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by platzapS:
I'm a Christian, but sometimes I have to say that a lot of Christians are a little over the edge :-)

Dude, sometimes we're all a little over the edge. And knowing and realizing that is as big a part of gaining wisdom as anything else, I'd say...

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BruinDan, "Number Three," FHOM

Beware the naked man who offereth you his pants.


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Sunset_Rose
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I still find it odd that there are so many different viewpoints about this. For example, I can talk to my parents and close friends about this without feeling that embarassed, but i have friends who would 'Die' if they had to talk to thier parents about masturbation, and I also know people who just won't talk about masturbation with anyone, full stop!

What really strikes me as weird about this is that some of the people who refuse to even mention masturbation will quite freely talk about thier views about sex with a partner.

Maybe this is partly because of religious views- for example, I saw this advert on a Christian website yesterday;
"Every time you masturbate, God kills a Kitten" (Followed by a picture of a small kitten)

I found this very disturbing, and was actually quite shocked.


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Bobolink
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It could also be described as hardly a "Christian" attitude. Sometimes I wonder if some of the people who make a big deal about being "Christian" have ever read the New Testament.

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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein


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Beppie
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I think the "Every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten" advert is a joke parodying those who believe masturbation is wrong on religous grounds actually- no one ever meant people to take it seriously.
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Heather
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That is, indeed, a parody.

I'd also add that I'd not be so quick to disseminate the idea that all or most Christians think masturbation is sinful or are against it. I'll give you that in a good deal of Christian -- and moreso, those in more conservative denominations and plenty of Catholics, certainly -- families or communities, it's hardly what you'd call celebrated or endorsed, but I'd say it's generalizing based on a lone message board to say most Christian people consider masturbation morally wrong.

Not only is there no real doctrine in the Bible on the subject (save Onan, which only deals with semen, anyhow, and only when taken literally), but with a good 95-97% of the population masturbating, I think it's safe to say nearly everyone is at least marginally okay with it to the point that they do so. As well, I've seen a lot of Christian discussions and theory over the years which again, has not done a cheer for masturbation, but if saying much at all, simply warned people not to get TOO wrapped up in it.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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