The Health Benefits of Masturbation

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I speak at a lot of conferences, and when I do, many in my audiences are young men—some in high school or college—and when I talk about the negative impact of pornography and masturbation, it’s not uncommon for me to get a lot of questions afterwards from these guys. You see, a lot of these guys have been told that not masturbating is actually unhealthy.

Since the days of psychologists like Sigmund Freud and Alfred Kinsey, there’s a picture people have of the sexual impulse that it is this boiling, tumultuous force that needs an outlet or it will explode in harmful ways.

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Jean Stengers and Anne Van Neck, Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror, trans. Kathryn Hoffmann (New York: PALGRAVE, 2001), 58.

“Happy news! Masturbation actually has health benefits,” The Conversation, last modified December 4, 2013,

Michael F. Leitzmann, Elizabeth A. Platz, Meir J. Stampfer, Walter C. Willett, and Edward Giovannucci, “Ejaculation Frequency and Subsequent Risk of Prostate Cancer,” JAMA 291, no. 13 (April 7, 2004): 1578-1586, doi: 10.1001/jama.291.13.1578.

Stuart Brody, “The Relative Health Benefits of Different Sexual Activities,” The Journal of Sexual Medicine 7, no. 4:1 (April 2010).

R. Morgan Griffin, “Male Masturbation: 5 Things You Didn’t Know,” WebMD, last modified August 30, 2013,

Stuart Brody, “The Relative Health Benefits of Different Sexual Activities,” The Journal of Sexual Medicine 7, no. 4:1 (April 2010):1336-1361, doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01677.

Barry S. Hewlett, Intimate Fathers (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991), 11-46.

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Alan Mozes, “Study Tracks Masturbation Trends Among U.S. Teens,” U.S. News, last modified August 1, 2011, 2011/08/01/study-tracks-masturbation-trends-among-us-teens.

C. S. Lewis, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3, ed. Walter Hooper (New York: HarperCollins, 2007).