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Masturbation is self sexual stimulation. It is condemned by most organised religions and sometimes referred to as "abnormal" or "disordered" [1]. However, masturbation is widely practiced by believers (and atheists) despite prohibitions. [2] [3]

"In his 2005 book, The Sexual Man, Dr. Archibald Hart reveals that 61% of married Christian men masturbate. [2]"



Masturbation is viewed negatively in Christianity but different denominations vary in their interpretation and justifications. Some of the more moderate and fundamentalist Christians tend to see it as a form of fornication, and therefore sinful. Some also see it as a spiritual vice. [4] [5] [6][7][8] Masturbation is one of the aspects of Christianity's generally negative view of sexuality.

To support their view, apologists commonly refer to the verse:

"But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother."

Genesis 38:9 Bible-icon.png

This has questionable relevance because the act in the biblical story is actually coitus interruptus. Masturbation is usually accompanied with "lustful" thoughts. This is equated to adultery by Jesus:

"But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Matthew 5:28 Bible-icon.png

An austere argument against masturbation is:

"Life is harder without Masturbation, so it glorifies God more. [9]"

Thomas Aquinas: masturbation is worse than rape[edit]

Alter piece depicting Thomas Aquinas

According to Thomas Aquinas, masturbation is worse than rape, sacrilege, incest, uncleanness or "effeminacy". [10]

"sins contrary to nature, whereby the very order of nature is violated, an injury is done to God, the Author of nature."


Many Latter-Day Saints followers refer to masturbation as "self-abuse".[11] Some advice for avoidance of masturbation, attributed to Mark E. Petersen of the LDS leadership until his death in 1984, includes avoiding handling "intimate" parts of the body, dressing "securely" and do not look at yourself in the mirror while naked. [12]

Jehovah's Witnesses[edit]

Jehovah's Witnesses also forbid masturbation. One of the reasons they give is it supposedly leads to homosexuality.

"Likewise, unclean practices, such as masturbation, which can be a steppingstone to homosexuality, have been dealt with in a serious, yet understanding, way, to help individuals keep clean and pure in Jehovah's eyes.[13]"


Ellen G. White opposed overly-stimulating foods, sex, and masturbation, which she referred to as "solitary vices".[14] [15] She said that masturbation prevents people from entering heaven.


Catholicism strongly disapproves of masturbation.

"Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action"

— Catechism of the Catholic Church [1]

Demonic possession[edit]



Although the Quran doesn't refer to masturbation, Islamic scholars have interpreted this verse as to be condemning the act.

"And those who guard their chastity, Except from their wives for then, they are free from blame; But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are transgressors."

— Al-Muminun 23:5-7

A Turkish televangelist preacher claimed masturbation leads to hand babies in afterlife. [16]


Some Taoists believe that masturbation can lower the amount of energy (qi) in men.


In Hinduism, masturbation is not condemned. An example can be taken from the book, "Kama Sutra":

"Churn your instrument with a lion's pounce: sit with legs stretched out at right angles to one another, propping yourself up with two hands planted on the ground between in them, and it between your arms."


As with Christianity, male masturbation is forbidden based on Genesis 38:8-10 Bible-icon.png. [17] A closer examination of these verses shows that they are actually condemning contraception, and not masturbation. The situation on female masturbation is unclear.


Israeli film breaks ultra-Orthodox taboo on masturbation

Counter arguments[edit]

Benefits and minimal harm[edit]

There can be several personal benefits to masturbation, such as a raise in self-esteem, improved sleep, strengthened muscles in the pelvic and anal parts of the body and reduced stress. [18]

Within certain limits, masturbation doesn't harm anyone. It also has minimal chance of spreading sexually transmitted diseases.

God would not care[edit]

It is absurd to think that an infinite being would be concerned with trivial matters such as masturbation.

Not mentioned in the Bible or Qur'an[edit]

Masturbation is not forbidden in the Bible or Qur'an. Many trivial rules are in holy books but some how they didn't bother prohibiting masturbation. Later interpreters have attempted to impose their own agenda.

Not unnatural[edit]

Many other animal species masturbate, so it is hard to argue it is unnatural.


See also[edit]

External Links[edit]

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