Alfred C. Kinsey is regarded as the first major figure in the research of human sexuality, more specifically masturbation. Kinsey was groundbreaking in his research on sexuality and made it possible to talk about sex. In the early 2000s, masturbation has become more accepted for both males and females yet there is still a stigma about discussing it openly (Wells, 2006). Societies and Cultures views on masturbation have changed over time and vary depending on who you are, where you are from, and the family you grew up in. Religious views on masturbation are more rigid and unchanging, unless the religion itself changes.
While the bible talks about premarital sex, adultery, and sexuality, it is silent on the matter of masturbation. This often leaves Christian males confused and feeling guilty about their sexuality (Kwee & Hoover, 2008). College women who reported ‘no religion’ or were liberal Christians reported masturbation more frequently and having more orgasms as oppose to conservative Christians (Davidson, Moore & Ullstrup, 2004). Protestantism is more tolerant of sexuality and more flexible with issues like masturbation. Catholics are very straight laced, they believe that masturbation is a moral sin and sex should only be an expression of love for your spouse and a mean of procreation (“straight talk about,”). Catholics feel that sex is between a husband and a wife, a total giving of body, mind, and soul. Masturbation, in their terms, denies everything that union stand for. Saying that masturbation is focused on the self, it is withholding from your spouse, and it is only for your pleasure (“straight talk about,”).
In the Orthodox or Conservative Jewish religion, they feel that it is a sin to masturbate. The Talmud calls masturbation ‘adultery of the hand’ (Wigader, 2002). Orthodox Jews say it is an unnecessary spilling of the seeds. Traditionalist call masturbation a sin and forbidden it. There is no mention of female masturbation in the Talmud. It is believed that it is not mentioned because there is no loss of semen (Wigader, 2002). Nevertheless, Judaism frowns upon female masturbation as ‘impure thoughts’. On the other side, Rabbis from the Progressive movement, reformed Jews, think masturbation is a normal and healthy sexual action (Stein, 2001).
In the Buddhism religion, Buddhist monks and nuns are to withhold from any form of sexual actions, living celibate and chaste lives. Buddhist has the five precepts one of which is to refrain from sexual misconduct. Buddhism does not define exactly what ‘sexual misconduct’ is (Higgins, 2011). Since Buddhist do not define what they mean, it can be interpreted that Buddhist that sexual conduct is fine as long as it does not do harm. Meaning satisfying sexual urges through masturbation is most likely acceptable (Higgins, 2011).
It is a general consensus that traditional or conservative religions, such as Orthodox Jews, Conservative Christians, and Catholics, view masturbation as a sin or...