Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Why was masturbation so frowned upon by earlier generations?(NSFW)

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (22605points) September 20th, 2014
22 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

Just wondering why?
You will go blind if you do that!
You will grow hair out of your palms if you do that!
What was their hangup on the subject?

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ibstubro's avatar


If you worked 12 hours a day, and slept 8, there was precious little time to make babies.

Wasting “seed”.

Religious training that sex was only for reproduction.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I was wondering if religion had anything to do with it,
Thanks for the answer.

gailcalled's avatar

Pleasure was considered sinful, particularly in the puritanical faiths and catholicism (and doubly so for women).

Pachy's avatar

Guess it just rubbed those oldtimers the wrong way.

johnpowell's avatar

There is still slut shaming. Sandra Fluke was only a few years ago. Remember how she was a slut for wanting her employer to cover oral contraceptives under Obamacare.

SUCH A WHORE, but Viagra is covered.

My point is that religious nuts still are crazy about sex. It isn’t like they are less nutty. There is just less of them. Thank GOD.

bomyne's avatar

Unfortunately, Religions are often very controlling… and how they do that controlling is often though bent truths, or outright fabrications.

I try to be very respectful of others beliefs, just as i’d want them to be respectful of mine… but it’s hard to as, how @johnpowell put it, “religious nuts” ruin it for the decent religious folk. This is an example of that.

Discarding religions and we still have superstitions. Even without religion involved, people believe in a lot of daft things. If you break a mirror, you get 7 years bad luck. That kind of thing. A mirror is nothing more than a sheet of glass with a reflective backing.

When you take both of these into account, I’m sure it can account for that myth.

JLeslie's avatar

Religion. As people above have said Puritanical ideals and ideas. Sex is bad, pleasure is sinful. If sex is pleasure is bad then even solo sex is bad. Even now some faiths teach masterbuting is bad, because they believe it makes you desire sex more.

It is true that masturbating can lower sperm count. Back in the day possibly they observed a correlation between men who didn’t masterbate and making babies. The rules in Judaism about not having sex during menstruation possibly increase a couples odds of making a baby since they are likely to have sex mid cycle to catch up on what they have been waiting for for over a week.

Not too long ago one of our US Surgeon Generals was fired for saying children can masterbate instead of actually engaging in penetrative sexual relations with other people.

ucme's avatar

Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate…

The irony being, it’s fine to yell out his name when you cum, through shagging or wanking.

janbb's avatar

It is the ultimate in sex as pleasure and that was (is?) considered shameful.

filmfann's avatar

Let’s just say there were a lot of jerks involved.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, hell. Sex was frowned on in the old days. It says so in the Bible.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Although…much of that feeling may have been due to the fact that getting preggers out of wedlock was a MUCH bigger deal than it is today. It had a much greater impact on the family too, especially if they were poor. So, they tried to regulate and discourage sex until marriage.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

The Bible has lots of sex in the Bible ,even incest Sol slept with his own daughters.
But what does Masturbation have to do with getting pregnant out of wedlock?
Now why did the earlier generations frown on it?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because sex was so frowned upon that any hint of it was discouraged.

The men in the Bible were allowed to have sex. The women weren’t.

KNOWITALL's avatar

As others said, bodily needs & functions were not polite. Women were fragile innocent flower to be protected.

janbb's avatar

Actually, the word “onanism,” an old term for masturbation, was named after Onan who was said in the Bible to have spilled his seed on the ground. The implication is that sex that is not for procreative purposes is a waste.

ibstubro's avatar

Paraphrase of Bill Cosby on picking your nose:

“It’s okay to do it. Everybody does it. It’s just impolite to let other people know you do it.”

Man, wouldn’t be cool to have something as great as masturbation named after you!? Stuism

gailcalled's avatar

Or perhaps bronanism.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

There is more to it than religious beliefs, and specifically the Bible. The vocal input of a handful of doctors and psychologists have also left left their negative stamp on the subject. Morals can be part of it. And this may come as a shock…there are cultures where the members have never heard of masturbation and thus never considered it; they have no word for it. It’s history is really quite fascinating.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I question your assertion that masturbation is socially taught. I mean, babies, especially boys, are grabbing themselves from an early age just because they figured out it feels good.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thank you for questioning my response. It wasn’t worded properly, making it misleading. A human can learn about masturbation either through self-discovery, observation, or word.

The question is, “Why was masturbation so frowned upon….?” If a culture doesn’t have a word for ‘masturbation’, then it doesn’t mean that it isn’t practiced by members. It implies that it is a non-issue. It hasn’t had a member come forward and state that this is a bad thing, for whatever reason. It may not even be discussed. It just ‘is’.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I see. Thanks.

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