Pleasuring oneself, masturbation, has always been bit taboo. On the other hand, it has several health benefits such as reducing stress, relieving sexual tension, relieving menstrual cramps and muscle tension and helping treat sexual problems. Masturbation is useful in improving body image and building self-esteem.
When Is It Too Early For Masturbation ?
Studies say the average age that children discover their genitals is around 6 to 7 months for boys and 10 to 11 months for girls. At 5 to 6 years of age the majority of children (boys and girls both) play with their sex organs on a regular basis. Around age 15, for boys, almost one hundred percent have masturbated to an orgasm and for girls this number is closer to 25%.
When To Be Concerned
Masturbation, or genital stimulation, is super a normal part of childhood development. There is always the exception to the rule. In certain cases, parents or guardians might want to seek professional guidance from a pediatrician. A few of those cases include where the child:
- Has an early understanding of the two-sidedness of the sex act
- Is compulsively seeking genital stimulation; or it interferes with normal activities and the child is not easily distracted
- Simulates intercourse with another child
- Penetrates another child
- Activity increases much above the original level, which can be an indication of stress
- Is practicing mouth to genital contact between themselves and another child
- Is particularly unhappy or sad
- Seems to be accompanied by trauma to the area from scratching or rubbing
When’s It A Symptom Of Trauma ?
This is a loaded question. The short answer is, sometimes. Even though masturbation from childhood to adulthood is normal healthy behavior, it’s important to remember that not all forms of it can be qualified as healthy. Typically, sexual abuse is the underlying factor for excessive genital stimulation in children. Sexual abuse causes stress and tension.
Masturbation alone is NOT a sign of sexual trauma but accompanied by other factors such as shame or anger; then yes, it can be a sign. Obsession, coercion and defiance are all signs of trauma when paired with the act of genital stimulation.
What Can Be Done About Masturbation ?
Hopefully by now I’ve gotten the point across that MASTURBATION IS NORMAL. Just incase it was not clear Masturbation = NORMAL.
In the instance, a child is excessively masturbation the first line of defense is taking these steps: 1) Discuss the activity with the child, 2) Inform your child about the sexual activity, 4) Provide alternative activities and 4) Consult a Specialist such as a Pediatrician or Psychologist.