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New Study Reveals That Teenage Boys Masturbate More Often Than Girls

A new nationwide look at data on masturbation among U.S. adolescents finds that boys do it much more often than girls, and they also tend to start earlier.

With parental permission, the NSSHB survey asked both male and female adolescents (as well as their adult guardians) to recall how often they had masturbated over the prior three months, over the past year, and over the course of their lifetime. Those polled were also asked how often they masturbated alone versus with a sexual partner. Condom use was also noted.

The results: boys were found to masturbate more often than girls, both overall and across all measured time frames. 

U.S. News & World Report, August 1st 2011

Of all the important questions facing adolescents today our federal government approved a research grant to discover that?

That’s a poll I’d expect to see in Teen People and not in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

What other “important research questions” might we tackle next?

  • What percentage of middle school boys want to dance with middle school girls at the school dance but are too afraid to make the first move?
  • Do 15 year old high school students want to see the driving age raised to 18 years old?
  • Do students like dress codes?

All joking aside, the trivial nature of these studies only acts as a reinforcement of the overarching stereotype. While there is plenty of wonderful research taking place around the country these headlines unintentionally communicate a message that adolescents aren’t important in our society, that they aren’t worthy of serious research, that they aren’t to be taken seriously, and that the people who invest their lives into educating, mentoring, and ministering to them aren’t to be taken seriously either.

Question: If you had the opportunity to sit on a grant approving board what would be some research questions in the field of adolescence that you’d fund?

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4 thoughts on “New Study Reveals That Teenage Boys Masturbate More Often Than Girls

  1. I would push to fund research aimed at discovery the actual leading causes of adolescent stress and adult and adolescent perceptions of the leading causes of adolescent stress.

  2. I am really surprised by that research. I mean, there are so many jokes about girls who grow hair on their palms, right?

    How about research into the relationship between adolescence and accessibility to online porn? Or the cycle of shame that leads to masturbation? Or how the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) plays a part in over diagnosing sex addiction? Anything more useful than than this.

    1. Cycle of shame? Surely masturbation is a normal and healthy part of growing up?  Without it how would many teenagers deal with the sexual desire that builds up in side of them? 

  3. – What are the real reasons adults avoid teens?
    – How old are the most effective youth workers?
    – Why do most church youth ministries ignore proven learning practices?
    – What causes the almost-casual way in which many teens embrace alternate sexual orientations?
    – What is the most effective way to influence parents to lead their children spiritually?
    – Are emotionally introverted youth ministers effective disciple-makers?
    – Why do youth pastors fail to motivate people to volunteer?
    – Can leadership be learned or is it a gift?

    I have more questions, but there are some.

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