Joycelyn Elders – Surgeon General forced to resign by Republican backwardness, Democrat cowardice
Conduct an Internet search for “masturbation,” and you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of slang phrases for the act. This proliferation of slang phrases suggests people want to talk about masturbation, but are uncomfortable about doing so directly. Using comedic terms provides a more socially acceptable way to express themselves.
So before we talk any more about it, let’s normalise it a bit. Masturbation, or touching one’s own genitals for pleasure, is something that babies do from the time they are in the womb. It’s a natural and normal part of healthy sexual development.
According to a nationally representative US sample, 94% of men admit to masturbating, as do 85% of women. But societal perspectives of masturbation still vary greatly, and there’s even some stigma around engaging in the act. Related to this stigma are the many myths about masturbation, myths so ridiculous it’s a wonder anyone believes them.
They include: masturbation causes blindness and insanity; masturbation can make sexual organs fall off; and masturbation causes infertility.
In actual fact, masturbation has many health benefits…And there are plenty of additional benefits from orgasms generally, including reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, increased self-esteem, and reduced pain…
Talking about masturbation also has benefits. Promoting sex-positive views in our own homes and in society, including around masturbation, allows us to teach young people healthy behaviours and attitudes without stigma and shame.
Parents and guardians who feel embarrassed or need extra guidance to do this should seek out sex-positive sources of information, like ones from respected universities.
Or you could be truly stupid and talk to a priest or listen to some politician who worries about offending 14th Century sexual mores a heckuva lot more than supporting educated reason.