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Teen Masturbation Study Shows Boys Start Earlier And Jerk Off More

Teen boys masturbate more than teen girls and start touching themselves at younger ages, according to a new study of 800 teens by National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. You’re shocked, right?The NSSHB study analyzed 2009 data taken from girls and boys ages 14 to 17 and was published yesterday in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. With parental/guardian permission, the teens shared how often they had masturbated in the past three months, past year, and throughout their lifetimes.

Teen boys masturbate more often than teen girls, both overall and within each time frame. Three quarters of teen boys polled had rubbed one out, while less than half of teen girls had. Teen boys said they masturbated about twice a week, while teen girls only masturbated a few times a year. (Obviously I was not polled for this study. Heh heh heh.)

The study also found that teens who masturbate are also more likely to engage in sexual behavior with a partner, as well as use condoms. Generally speaking, this makes sense: a female or male teenager who is open-minded enough to have sex with themselves seems likely to have an interest in fooling around with others and doing it safely.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Cynthia L. Robbins, said all teens need to be assured that masturbation is “normal” and a part of human sexuality. I couldn’t agree more. It is my frank opinion that promoting masturbation should be a much, much bigger component of sex-ed in schools — and a topic school sex educators especially need to discuss with teen girls. Not for nothing is there this disparity in who masturbates: the hormones coursing through teen boys’ bodies are treated like a natural part of life, but teen girls’ sexuality? It freaks most people out. That’s a sign of sexism within our culture, the idea that females aren’t or shouldn’t be as sexual as males. Women are entitled to sex how they want, where they want, as much as they want it, just like men are.

Alas, one would think keeping kids off “Teen Mom” is something we could all get behind. But no. Discussing masturbation makes some people upset, as we all saw when President Clinton’s surgeon general Jocelyn Elders was forced to step down in 1994 after stating at an AIDS conference that promoting masturbation would protect young adults from engaging in riskier behavior.

Sexual feelings are a fact of life. Period. If teenagers are not aware of or encouraged to try less risky behavior, then they’ll go for the risky stuff. Fortunately — and I speak from personal experience as a former teen girl here — lots of us have sexual feelings and urges long before we have the desire or wherewithal to explore those urges with another person. I feel lucky that I grew up in a part of the country where buying a vibrator is both legal and not a big deal. I started masturbating at 15 and was perfectly content to have sex with myself for a couple years; I didn’t choose to have intercourse until I was 17. I wonder if masturbation by teen girls was more culturally acceptable — even encouraged — as a way to experience sexual pleasure, we wouldn’t have quite the problems with teen pregnancy that we do.

Do the results of this teen masturbation study surprise you or do you think they’re accurate? How old were you when you started masturbating? What do you think is the best way to encourage teens to avoid risky sexual behavior? Let us know in the comments.

Want to contact the writer of this post? {encode=”jessica@thefrisky.com” title=”Email her”}!

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