Spending long hours in the shower, locking the bedroom door, a cleared history; if you have a teenager, you’re probably witnessing them desperately looking for a moment to be alone. This might not be the easiest topic to talk about, but masturbation is something that they’ll eventually figure out, and knowing the right thing to do when the time comes is very important. So, let’s talk about teen masturbation and see what you can do if your child is doing it.
Why Do Teens Masturbate?
It might be hard to accept that your little one is doing the thing that they’re doing. But maybe if you knew the reasons behind it, you could view the situation differently. There are various reasons why teenagers masturbate. Here are some of the most important:
Exploring Their Body
Young children usually don’t have the sexual feelings that older people do. As they age and hit puberty, they begin to feel things that are new and interesting. It’s like playing a piano, except that pressing each key creates a new pleasurable sensation instead of making a sound. So, they keep pressing and pressing to understand how this piano (their body in this case) works.
Releasing Sexual Tension
According to the (NICHD), boys go through puberty between the ages of 9-14 and girls between 8-13. At this time, teenagers start experiencing a hormonal hurricane inside their bodies, which will give them an extremely high sex drive. Therefore, to release some of this sexual tension, they resort to masturbation.
We all remember being 16 and counting the days until we were considered grown-ups. Younger children wear their mothers’ high heels or put on a fake mustache. On the contrary, in a teenager’s head, the thing that makes them different from an adult is sex. The ones who can do it will, and the rest masturbate. It’s the first step into adulthood and it can feel empowering for them.
Common Beliefs about Masturbation
People say a lot of things about masturbation. However, not all of them are true. Let’s see which of these sayings are supported by science and which are based on prejudice:
Although believed by a great number of people, these assumptions about masturbation have no scientific proof:
- Masturbation weakens eyesight: There has been no proof of a link between masturbation and loss of vision.
- Masturbation causes infertility: According to Planned Parenthood, masturbation does not affect sperm count or fertility.
- You can catch STDs while masturbating: Masturbation is known as the safest way for sexual pleasure and there is no way to catch an STD masturbating. However, if you use toys and devices that have been previously used by another person who has a disease, you can get infected.
Here are some facts about masturbation that you should know about:
- Masturbation helps with menstrual cramps: When a person experiences an orgasm, a hormone called endorphin gets released in their body. This hormone along with muscle contractions can bring temporary relief to period cramps.
- Masturbation helps you learn about your body: Exploring your body can give you an idea about your likes and dislikes and improve your partnered sexual relationship.
- Masturbation can lead to destructive behaviors: A person needs some stimulation to experience pleasure during masturbation. A teenager can resort to destructive behaviors, such as pornography consumption and use of unsafe devices for that.
After all that we’ve learned about masturbation, is it okay for a teenage boy to masturbate? The truth is that masturbation is a normal thing and both girls and boys can do it. Research supports this idea, indicating that many teenagers masturbate and that this can be a part of normal sexual development. However, both teenagers and parents should be aware of where to draw the line. One thing that could make masturbation dangerous is watching porn. Porn can have a negative effect on children’s minds in many ways: It builds unrealistic expectations and a negative body image; it makes them think that the edited and fake scenes are what sex should look like in real life and can lead to addiction.
The Internet should be a safe space for children to explore, learn, and blow off steam. It should not be a gateway to perversion and risky behavior. If you want to limit your child’s access to porn and other inappropriate content, you should try the Safes parental control app. It lets you monitor your child’s activities on the web and on social media and limit inappropriate content. Safes is easy to use and can be installed on all devices, such as Android, iOS, and Windows.
What Parents Should Do
If masturbation is normal, what should you do as a parent? Is it healthy to not masturbate while being a teen? If you’re asking yourself these questions, you should know that every teen is different and that there is nothing you should do to encourage or stop your child from masturbating. Instead, you should provide guidance and respect their privacy when they need it. An interesting piece of research suggests that a strong connection between a mother and a teenager affects their sexual behavior: verbal communication in boys and having a good connection in girls decrease the likelihood of having sex in teenage years.
Masturbation is a normal part of growing up and a time may come when your teenager will start exploring their body. Punishing them because of it and depriving them of their privacy will only result in repressed desires and rebellion. Instead, you should communicate with them, educate them on ways to be safe, make sure they’re not doing anything dangerous, and just hope for the best. If you feel uncomfortable bringing up this subject or that this habit is affecting their daily life, you can always seek professional help.