“In the United States, the last recorded clitoridectomy for curing masturbation was performed in 1948–on a five year old girl.”
– Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues
It used to be thought that masturbation had negative medical consequences; it was also considered to be ethically deplorable for various curious reasons. Fortunately, these superstitious days are over, and empirical sciences have taken over from ill-informed prudery. Indeed, quite the reverse, many benefits of masturbation have since been discovered:
In 2003, an Australian research team of The Cancer Council Australia found that males masturbating frequently had a lower probability to develop prostate cancer. Men who averaged five or more ejaculations weekly in their 20s had significantly lower risk. However they could not show a direct causation. The study also indicated that increased ejaculation through masturbation rather than intercourse would be more helpful as intercourse is associated with diseases (STDs) that may increase the risk of cancer instead. However, this benefit may be age related.
- Giles, G.G.; G. Severi, D.R. English, M.R.E. McCredie, R. Borland, P. Boyle and J.L. Hopper (2003). Sexual factors and prostate cancer. BJU International.
A study published in 1997 found an inverse association between death from coronary heart disease and frequency of orgasm even given the risk that myocardial ischaemia and myocardial infarction can be triggered by sexual activity.
That is, a difference in mortality appeared between any two subjects when one subject ejaculated at around two times per week more than the other. Mortality risk was 50% lower in the group with high orgasmic frequency than in the group with low orgasmic frequency, with evidence of a dose-response relation across the groups. It was therefore concluded that sexual activity seems to have a protective effect on men’s health.
- Smith, George Davey; F; Y (December 20, 1997). Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study. BMJ 315 (7123): 1641.
A 2008 study at Tabriz Medical University found ejaculation reduces swollen nasal blood vessels, freeing the airway for normal breathing. The mechanism is through stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and is long lasting. The study author suggests “It can be done [from] time-to-time to alleviate the congestion and the patient can adjust the number of intercourses or masturbations depending on the severity of the symptoms.”
- “Masturbation could bring hay fever relief for men”. (April 2008) Newscientist.com.
Some professionals consider masturbation to function as a cardiovascular workout. Though research is still as yet scant, those suffering from cardiovascular disorders (particularly those recovering from myocardial infarction, or heart attacks) should resume physical activity (including sexual intercourse and masturbation) gradually and with the frequency and rigour which their physical status will allow. This limitation can serve as encouragement to follow through with physical therapy sessions to help improve endurance.
- Graber, Benjamin; Benjamin Graber, Scott Balogh, Denis Fitzpatrick and Shelton Hendricks (June 1991). Cardiovascular changes associated with sexual arousal and orgasm in men. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment (Springer Netherlands) 4 (2): 151–165.
“We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation.” – Lily Tomlin