SEX EDUCATION TO ADOLESCENTS
( By Dr. Vithal Prabhu )

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Masturbation

Masturbation is stimulation of sex organs by self. It is a solo activity. When two do it to one another, it is called "Mutual Masturbation.” About 93 to 98 per cent of men and 60 to 80 per cent of women do it. However, most of them do not accept it. It is supposed to be a normal step in the development of sexuality. No harm is done if they do it. Those who do it, find a sense of physical satisfaction and release of mental tension. It familiarizes oneself with the sexual response. A woman can experience orgasm through intercourse, if she has learnt to have orgasm through masturbation. Men who do not have ejaculation/orgasm are found to have no experience of masturbation. Masturbation is a taboo and lot of stigma is attached to it.

Boys feel that by doing masturbation, they become weak, get pimples, go mad and their penis gets bent, decreases in size or get tilted. Masturbation is supposed to cause impotence, liquify or exhaust the stock of semen. Nothing is true. Scientists say that it is not at all harmful but is beneficial. It is a safe sexual outlet. It does not cause any bad effect either on the penis or on the general health. Since it is a solo performance, it does not encroach upon anybody’s freedom and it can be done at any time. It costs nothing. Masturbation is surest way to prevent STD and HIV/AIDS infections. Sociologists feel that had masturbation not been there, the rapes, homosexuality, prostitution, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS would have been on increase.

Boys are worried about the loss of semen which is supposed to be a precious and vital fluid. In fact semen is a fluid meant for throwing out of body. No harm is done if it is thrown out and no benefit it obtained if it is preserved in the body. Sperms and the constituents of the semen are continuously produced in the body. If the semen is not ejaculated at intervals either by masturbation or in sleep, it gets disintegrated and absorbed in the body. Some boys are worried that they have done "too much” of masturbation and therefore, they have landed into some problems like impotence or weakness. The fact is that there is nothing like "too much.” Like sleep, thirst, hunger, the body knows its requirements. The body craves only till the needs are satisfied. The need of sex-outlet is great during the adolescence. Unlike the animals, the human being cannot have sexual outlet freely with the opposite sex.

Nature itself teaches the alternative method of sexual outlet, i.e., mastubation. Animals too masturbate by forelimbs or by rubbing their penis against the trees. "Use it or loose it” is the rule of the nature. The organ that is not used, will not continue to function. Masturbation and wet dreams are nature’s attempts to keep the sex organs functioning. Let us take the example of our tongue. If you attempt talking, you may become an orator. If you don’t, you cannot be one. If you talk too much, your tongue will not get bent, curved or slanting. The same rule applies to penis. Not only unmarried men and women masturbate, but married persons also do it when their partner is not around or is sick. Elderly persons also do it. Intense desire for masturbation amongst boys is because of high level of the hormone, Testosterone. The frequency of masturbation is less in girls because oestrogen hormone in them is not so sex-stimulating one.

Boys masturbate by moving the foreskin of the penis to and fro by fingers or by the fist of the hand. Another common way is the rubbing of penis to the bed, by moving the hip forwards and backwards. In either way, the stimulation of the glans of the penis is continued to the point of ejaculation. In fact, masturbation is imitation of the intercourse. In masturbation, the penis is steady and the hand moves; while in the intercourse the vagina is steady and the penis moves. In either case, the effect remains the same. (It is something like whether the barrel of the syringe moves or the piston moves, effect is same.) The brain perceives the sensation from the penis in the same way either through masturbation or through intercourse, and triggers the orgasm. Therefore, the quality of orgasm from both these activities remain the same. Hence, masturbation is a safe alternative for sexual intercourse.

Boys are under the impression that girls masturbate by introducing long objects like banana in their vagina. It is wrong. They do not introduce anything there since it is uncomfortable and not pleasing. The sensitive part in girls are the clitoris and the labia minora. Girls stimulate these parts by using fingers, by making rhythmic movements of crossed legs or by a spray of running water. The frequency of masturbation in girls is much less than that in boys. Does one get addicted to masturbation? No. When he gets an opportunity to have sexual relationship with the opposite sex, he can easily get switched over to it. Masturbation could be bad only if there is obscession about it, i.e., doing nothing else but masturbation thorughout the day. This is an indication of psychological imbalance. In normal human beings this does not happen. Masturbation does not affect the performance in sports.

Athletes who won the olympic medals have masturbated on the previous night for the release of the tension and to get good sleep. It is also found that the students masturbate more frequently during the preparation time for their examinations. There are boys who wish to discontinue the ‘habit’ of masturbation totally. First of all, masturbation is not a habit or addiction like smoking or alcohol. It does not harm as tobacco or alcohol does. Masturbation is a normal expression of sexuality during the adolescence. The frequency decreases as the age advances. It is not necessary to go against the stream of the nature. However, the choice is theirs. They should start taking deep interest in sports, physical exercises, music, painting, games etc. They should develop some hobby and channelise their energy into these directions. This is called "Sublimation.” They should make a decision not to masturbate.

Every morning they should make the same decision for that day. If they do not succeed they need not repent or feel disappointed. They should make a fresh decision without any guilt feeling, because masturbation is a healthy normal behaviour. If they stop masturbation, it is normal; and if they continue to do it, that is also normal. Some quacks take advantage of the guilt feelings of masturbation amongst youth and prescribe ointments, pills for increasing the size of the penis or making the semen (Dhaat) "powerful.” This is absolutely cheating. Youths should not fall a prey to this unscrupulousness and cheating. What harms in masturbation is not the act itself, but the feeling of guilt and shame anxiety regarding the act.

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