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The Criminal History of Masturbation

Masturbation is a form of individual satisfaction of sexual desire by irritation own erogenous zones or erogenous zones of a partner.

Attitude towards masturbation in society was and remains controversial. Since masturbation is common even among animals and is practiced in a variety of human societies, it is natural to assume that it has existed throughout human history. With the development of society and the widening gap between biologically driven age of puberty and the one that was approved by socially led to an increased prevalence of masturbation. However, it is perceived differently in different cultures.

In ancient Greece and Rome, masturbation was seen as one of the natural ways of enjoyment. The Greeks regarded masturbation as a normal and healthy substitution of other forms of sexual pleasure, seeing it as a safety valve against destructive sexual dissatisfaction.

In contrast, in South and Southeast Asia, there was a common understanding of the sperm being a repository and the source of vitality, so male masturbation was condemned.

In medieval Christianity, any ejaculation not associated with sexual intercourse, including masturbation and wet dreams was considered a sin. General attitude towards masturbation in Western culture is inextricably linked with the biblical passage describing the sin of Onan.

In 1760, a doctor from Lausanne Tissot wrote a book L’Onanisme, where he stated about harmful effects of masturbation. He associated it with impotence, blindness, mental and physical exhaustion. Tissot’s theory was supported by such well-known political thinkers, as Voltaire and Kant.

In the 19th century, the idea of the dangers of masturbation was accepted both in medicine and in society. Doctors believed that masturbation implied the formation of sexual deviancy, mental abnormalities, and mental disorders. Parents kept an eye on their children, trying to avoid harmful masturbatory manifestations.

Attitude towards masturbation began to change only in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1897, Henry Havelock Ellis in his work questioned Tissot’s ideas and divided masturbation on moderate, with no apparent adverse effects, and immoderate, harmful.

Sigmund Freud believed that every normal child is experimenting with different types of auto-erotic sexual stimulation and that there is no link between autoerotism and all forms of disorders of mental activity.

Later sociological and sexological studies have confirmed the fact of widespread masturbation and the absence of any serious negative effects of moderate masturbation.

Masturbation is a form of individual satisfaction of sexual desire by irritation own erogenous zones or erogenous zones of a partner.

Attitude towards masturbation in society was and remains controversial. Since masturbation is common even among animals and is practiced in a variety of human societies, it is natural to assume that it has existed throughout human history.

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100000738
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CREATED ON
29 July 2016
COMPLETED ON
1 August 2016
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