What Percentage Of Women Masturbate
“We’ve all heard the statistic that 96% of people in America masturbate at least once a month, so it’s no surprise that we tend to make broad generalizations about our fellow human beings based on those numbers. But when it comes to masturbation, what percentage of us is too high or too low? And how can you tell if your own masturbation habits are normal or not?
The first thing you should know is that there has been some controversy over whether or not masturbation statistics even exist. In 1992, sex therapist David Ley published an article arguing that because most people don’t talk about their masturbation with anyone else (not even their partner), they may be embarrassed by their behavior, making it difficult for researchers to learn much information about it. He also argued that many people simply weren’t comfortable talking about such private matters. The argument was picked up by journalist Mary Carmichael who wrote a book called “”Masturbation: A History of the World’s Best Known Lubricant.”” In her book, she claimed that since masturbation is a natural function that humans have engaged in throughout history, it would be impossible for any study to accurately determine its prevalence unless everyone participating were comfortable discussing their experiences openly without fear of judgment.
Since then, other studies on this topic have used different methods to try to come up with a more accurate estimate. One study asked participants to keep track of their masturbatory activities for one week and report back their results to researchers. Another survey included questions like “”Have you ever had sexual fantasies involving penises?”” and “”Did you experience orgasm from autoerotic stimulation during the past year?”” Researchers found that out of 2,000 men surveyed, 90% said they’d masturbated at least once. They also found that out of 1,000 women surveyed, 92% had masturbated at least once. While these findings aren’t exact, they’re still pretty darn close to the original estimates put forth by Ley and his supporters.
There is another issue that complicates things further. Since sex education tends to focus on abstinence before marriage as the preferred method of birth control, many young teens have never really talked about masturbation with their parents or teachers. As a result, a lot of them grow up thinking that masturbation means having an erection while masturbating oneself. This misconception may contribute to the lower than expected rate of masturbation among teenagers. It might also explain why so few girls masturbate compared to boys — they just haven’t learned about it yet.
If you want to find out what percentage of people masturbate, you’ll need to look beyond surveys and polls and instead use data collected through clinical trials. Two recent double-blinded, placebo controlled studies conducted by the University of California at San Francisco show that around 70% of men masturbate regularly (one study showed that 73% of men masturbated weekly). According to one study, 52% of men reported masturbating daily.
It’s important to remember that these numbers reflect regular, frequent masturbation, which does differ from solitary masturbation sessions. For example, one man described in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior told researchers he masturbates several times per day to achieve orgasm and ejaculation. A woman named Nicole told researchers she got off on watching porn alone in her bedroom. She said, “”I’m going to bed now… I will probably wake up tomorrow morning hard again”” [emphasis hers]. When asked what kind of pornography she liked best, she responded, “”Fisting videos, lesbian sex, blow jobs.””
So what’s the percentage of women who masturbate? According to the same study mentioned above, 72% of women masturbate. However, one third of women admitted to using lubricants (usually Vaseline) to facilitate masturbation. Only 12% of women said they didn’t masturbate at all.
While these numbers seem fairly consistent across studies, there are some exceptions. Some research suggests that younger women masturbate less frequently than older ones. For instance, one 2012 study found that 40% of college students ages 18-24 reported masturbating monthly, while 26% said they did so every six months. By contrast, 34% of respondents over 25 years old reported masturbating monthly, while 30% said they did so every six months. These differences seemed to hold true regardless of race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, relationship status, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. Another study looking at rates of masturbation among college students found that 58% of female and 42% of male students masturbated at least once in the previous four weeks.
As far as solo masturbation goes, it seems that the average amount of time spent masturbating varies widely depending on age. In a 2011 British study, researchers found that 20% of 14-year olds reported masturbating for less than five minutes, 19% reported masturbating between 5-10 minutes, 17% reported masturbating between 10-20 minutes, 23% reported masturbating between 20-30 minutes, 16% reported masturbating between 30-40 minutes, and 15% reported masturbating for 40+ minutes. By comparison, 38% of adults in the UK report masturbating for under 4 minutes, 24% report masturbating between 4-8 minutes, 21% report masturbating between 8-16 minutes, 11% report masturbating between 16-32 minutes, 7% report masturbating between 32-64 minutes, and 3% report masturbating for 64+ minutes.
There are a couple possible reasons why women masturbate less often than men. First, it could be due to cultural norms. Men are typically encouraged to explore their sexuality more freely in order to help them reach orgasm quicker. Second, masturbation itself doesn’t necessarily lead to orgasm. There are numerous types of orgasms, including clitoral, vaginal, multiple, blended, and intercouse-based. If you’re trying to get off with yourself, masturbation alone isn’t likely to give you an orgasm.
Even though most people masturbate every once in awhile, it’s good to keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous or awkward about doing so. You may worry that masturbating will cause erectile dysfunction, or that you won’t be able to have an orgasm. Masturbation is something that takes practice, and sometimes it helps to work through these issues with a professional.
Here are a few tips to consider if you’re new to self pleasuring. Start small. Don’t go overboard right away. Take everything slow and easy. Try touching yourself gently and softly. Use lube if you prefer. Experiment with different positions and speeds. Focus on your breath. Orgasms can take longer to achieve than you realize. Keep breathing! Enjoy yourself. Remember, masturbation is supposed to bring pleasure.”
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