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why do young children masterbate?
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why do young children masterbate?

I was 5 yeara old when i started masterbating (masturbating) alyhough was not til i was older that i realised whwat i was doing.I have never been sexually abused but i had an awful child hood my mother was always depressed, my dad was never in i was bullied by a teacher from the age of 5 when i first started school.I was always a nervous child and always thought about going to sleep and never wanting to wake up as i realise now  i just wanted to die all the time,I get very depressed and have been through some tough times when i go older too. Anyway back to my question do you think i masturbated through stress or some sort of depression as i know it certainly wasn't sexual for me, i feel so embarrassed about it now i am older as all my relatives used to see me do it as i never used to stop when people came round and i used to rub myself raw on the arm chairs.


This discussion is related to Advice on how to deal with 4 yr. old girl masterbating (masturbating).
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a degree in Psychology and have worked at a children's hospital. I have seen children very young who masterbate. However, I have never seen one masterbate to that point that has not has some type of sexual abuse.  I had one patient that was abused as an infant and taken away from her parents at the age of 2. So, she did not remember the abuse but masterbated every night. There may be another answer of course but in my opinion I would say that you've blocked out some sexual abuse, sorry. It is very likely that you wouldn't remember it if it happened at a very young age. Do you have siblings? Sometimes chidlren explore together and that can be the reason. It is very normal for children to explore themselves.  Maybe no one ever talked to you about it so you didn't know. Either way, it's not your fault. Children do not naturally "know better".  Do you still have a problem with this or is the problem only the embarassment?  
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Avatar_f_tn
i was masterbating (masturbating) last night with my husbands support, so i think masterbating (masturbating) is not any big of a deal!! but since u masterbated at the age of five, im wondering if i did the same thing but too bad i cant remember what i did yestreday... so yeah its really nothing to be embarrased about, just do your thing and stop worrying about whats in the past, i have to admit i bet everyone dat seems to have a problem with you masterbating (masturbating) have something in common with dat, so move on and get over with your depression, find something nice to think about and leave out the trash....
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your reply. I do have two sisters who never did what i did and we never experimented together either.I still do it now when i am anxious, upset, excited,nervous obviously now it is in private as iam 28. I was always such a nervous unhappy child i hated life and looking back i see i was very depressed. My parents had and still have a very distructive relationship and school was a nightmare as i was so shy and nervous all the time i know my parents loved me very much and i am still almost positive i was never abused as was never very far away from my mother when not at school.I just feel embarrassed by what i did and want to know why i did it, my parents never stopped me i think a doctor told them it was nothing to worry about it so they let me get on with it, i have never seen a child like it since,not to the extreme i used to do it. I cant help but think it maybe due to child stress and a need for comfort. To be honest life has been one long stuggle!
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Avatar_n_tn
YThanks for the reply, pleased you had fun with your hubby last night probably the fact you cant remember if you masterbated when you were five or not means if you did it wasn't alot and it didn't distress you obviously it did me or i wouldnt be on this website telling everyone and hoping for answers. As for yesterday i cant remember what i did either. Hope you have fun tonight with your hubby ;-)
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Avatar_f_tn
i hope i didnt get u mad or anything, really didnt mean to be so harsh but im talking within my own experience, i have never masterbated all my life thats the truth, is just that my husband likes to do that so he can get me in the mood of wanting more, so yeah i would understand what ur going through, but really masterbating (masturbating) isnt bad at all, so yeah thax for the reply though, i sure will have fun with my hubby tonight.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well it sounds like you've worked it all out but just need some reassurance. It is pretty normal for a child to experiment with their own body. Everyone has their own opinion about masturbating. No matter how many times someone says, it's not bad, you have the feelings that you have. Some people feel embarassed, some religions feel it is a sin, and then some feel that it's human nature. I completely understand you being embarassed. The fact that you still do it when you have those emotions makes me believe that you learned to comfort yourself this way. You probably did it one time when you were upset and then continued. It's just a soothing mechanism. Since your parents never told you not to do it in public- you didn't know any better. I promise you think about it more than anyone who saw you do it. I'm sure most adults just blamed your parents (as us adults usually do) and think nothing bad about you.

I am a more concerned that you still masturbate when you experience certain emotions. It is important that you learn to deal with your emotions in a healthy way if you haven't (which would be very understandable).  Let's face it you can't always run to the bathroom and masturbate when you get upset or anxious.  I think that if you learn to deal with your emotions in a more healthy way that you will feel better about yourself and your childhood masturbation won't bother you as much.  Make a plan. Maybe try a stress ball, deep breaths, talking to someone (that is what works for me), etc... Make a plan and try it out. I'm not telling you that it is wrong b/c that is a personal thing. But, I do think that if you did not still depend on it so much that you would feel better about the past. Make a plan, practice it (b/c it will be a tough habit to break), and see if it works. If you don't think that you depend on it or that it is a problem now then you will just have to find a way to work past the embarassment and realize that it doesn't matter. Even if they did think it was odd, does it really matter? Hold your head high and be proud of who you are. I'd be willing to bet that you are the only one thinking about it. Good luck and hope this helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the good advice. You have helped alot and i do feel better about it now. Bet you are very good at your job you have certainly made me feel alot better. Thank you for taking the time to reply.x
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Avatar_f_tn
Glad I can help. I love what I do an love to help others. Remember you can't change or even forget your past so all you can do is figure out a way to embrace it!
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533673_tn?1213256812
This is my first ever post on a forum like this. Where do I start? I was masterbating (masturbating) from a very early age. I know I was doing it before I even started school. I even used to do it under the desk at school. I would do it until I reached orgasm. I didn't know this was an orgasm at the time, but I know now that that is what it was. I used to do it all the time. I even used to want to get caught. I was a very nervous, unhappy child, and have now, as an adult, been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I have been in 5 sexual relationships, I am now 40 years old, but I have never been able to totally relax with any man. I hate being touched, I am scared of sex. The only way I ever reach orgasm is by myself, and I can't even do that now. I don't know why I am like this and have never talked about it to anyone before, because I feel ashamed. All I know is, when I used to touch myself, I got pleasure from thinking I was being 'hurt' and that sounds weird now, because I am not in to pain at all. Please, can someone explain why I was this way, and why I have developed this illness. There is a lot more I can tell you, but I just needed to say this first, because I am starting to wonder if I was abused in any way. Also, after my orgasms, I used to feel really guilty and dirty. Why would a young child feel this way? Please help me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Masturbation is NOT sin. It is getting to know your body. How can a lover please you if you don't even know what works and what doesn't? If this is wrong, then how can you ever remain healthy, because you could not even perform self-examination, which I highly recommend. Just my tuppence.
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Avatar_f_tn
im in need of help.my daughter is 8 and i walked in on her touching herself..to my knowledge she hasnt been touch.i do think she has overheard me having sex.im bothered and really dont know what to do.im taking her to the doctor to be examined.she is my first born so i nevered had to deal with this.
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Avatar_f_tn
Im fourteen. Ive been masterbating (masturbating) ever since I was 6. I wrote down on a paper why i felt sad or angry. . It was school and my parents arguments that got me doing this. Maybe you need to talk to your daughter comfort her. It wouldve help me. Thats what i needed. I only got yelled at when i masterbated. But i stopped myself by trusting myself. No one ever trusted me as a child. Just care for her spend time with her. Listen to everything she has to say. Love her :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Im fourteen. Ive been masterbating (masturbating) ever since I was 6. I wrote down on a paper why i felt sad or angry. . It was school and my parents arguments that got me doing this. Maybe you need to talk to your daughter comfort her. It wouldve help me. Thats what i needed. I only got yelled at when i masterbated. But i stopped myself by trusting myself. No one ever trusted me as a child. Just care for her spend time with her. Listen to everything she has to say. Love her :)
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219241_tn?1413541365
In short...she's doing it coz it feels good!
Kids have no concept of sex,  but to play with themselves gives a nice feeling and they enjoy it. Simple. Nothing wrong with it. She'll find something else real soon to entertain her. Don't worry!

The only other thing to do is check her at night and see if she has any pinworms. Often little girls get them in their vagina and they itch like heck and little girls will 'touch' themselves as a way to get the itch gone. It looks like playing to an adult but to a little girl (and I remember having them!) they get in the pee hole or the vagina and are murder to stop itching!
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82861_tn?1333457511
I have never read so much rubbish in my life.  Masturbating is a completely normal part of life for girls and boys.  By itself, masturbation does not mean that a child has been abused.  What it DOES mean is that all the nerves are hooked up and functioning normally.  

My friend owns and operates a Montessori preschool and this topic is something the teachers are educated about.  It usually starts around 4 or 5 and unless it becomes completely disruptive to the class, it is ignored.  If the child continues, he or she is placed in a private area and told this is something you do privately.  They are very careful not to spin any moral judgments into that conversation.  And yes, the parents are always made aware of both the behavior and the response of the teachers.  She tells me that she's had a very few students who began masturbating around 2 years of age.  It's considered very precocious behavior but not necessarily the result of any abuse or inappropriate conduct on the part of adults.

One of my sister's children "discovered" herself while my sister changed her diaper and said with a big smile, "Ooooh Mommy!  Fun!"  My sister was horrified and dragged her daughter to the pediatrician only to be told she was perfectly normal - on the high curve of "normal" age for discovering that part of her body, but still normal.  He also said those sensations and awareness of them are supposed to come to us early in life.
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Avatar_m_tn
While I agree with Jaybay, I have alot of thoughts about this topic and honestly was so glad to find this thread. I am 41 and I have PTSD and major panic disorder and had severe trauma as a baby, child, teen, it was daily and chonic, no sexual or physical abuse, but my father drove crazy and yelled every day and drove drunk and when not drunk, would drive crazy either drunk or not. he basically threatened our lives every time we drove with him (my mom did not drive).
so, I had MAJOR stress as a child and I masterbated at a very early age, maybe age 2 and I did it all the time, behind the couch in the living room, in my bed, on the floor, and I would often fall asleep after wards and woudl be caught naked from the waist down and would be embarrassed b./c I had fallen asleep like that. I absolutely feel that my poor little nervous system was trying to heal itself from the daily abuse. I am so amazed at my body's WISDOM. I am so glad I masterbated, perhaps it is one of the things that saved me from my hellish childhood, and I am not kidding here. the nervous system needs to recalibrate and my little body was trying to do that and trying to cope from the onslaught of terror and anger and anxiety. To have your father almost kill you many times, is just un-comprehendable to a little child and then he was also loving, it was so confusing to my little heart and mind. My mom and sister never shamed me, I was embarrassed when I got caught masterbating (masturbating), by thank god they never really shamed me. I was rarely caught by my brothers or my dad. I masterbated ALOT and I think alot of it was stress and anxiety relief. thank you all for posting on this thread. I think it's a big story that I've not heard much about and would like to hear more from psychology about this, especially related to a reaction to major stress, trauma in the home of a little child. my poor little self, thank god i found some relief for my truamatized nervous system.
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Avatar_m_tn
just wanted to clarify what I meant by my dad almost killed us so many times..., that my dad would almost crash, speed at very high speeds (90 - 100mph or more) and would drag race with anyone on the road who pissed him off and that happened all the time.. so this is what I meant by that he almost killed me and my siblings and my mom many many times.
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Avatar_f_tn
Im 11 years old and I looked in to this to find help. I've been doing this since I was vary young and I do it everyday I try to stop but I just can't I've only gone like a week with out doing it it's just so hard to stop help please
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Nikki,

Dont worry about it. As a child we have no concept of wrongness associated with what feels good to our bodies until an adult has a negative reaction to what we are doing. By the age of three I discovered that if I ticlked myself with my dolls hair I would have what I later came to know as an orgasm. I've always masterbated, even after I married. My husband had an 85% effective rate but my own fingers 100% every time. I'ts relaxing, releases stress, feels good. It's only wrong if you "think" it is. When your hungry, you eat, when your sleepy, you sleep, when you itch, you scratch and when your vagina becomes engorged or tingles and needs relief, you masterbate.If boys don't do it they turn blue, very unhealthy. It is that simple. It's best to do so in private. Be happy. By the way I'm in my 40's now. I am not a bad person, I have been married for over 16 years and have beautiful, balanced children. Your not weird or wrong. Your normal. Anyone who disagrees is Lying!
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Avatar_f_tn
When I was 9 years old, my cousin started sexually abusing me. He's a year older. I would come to my grandmas house after school everyday and everyday after school it was the same thing. I didn't know it was wrong until I was 11. I fingered me really hard (sometimes it even hurt), he would pinch my nipples, etc. I could never push him off because he was always strong than me and everytime I tried to scream he put his hand over my mouth. I've always been afraid to tell on him because he threatened me. I'm 14 now and in high school so I don't see him as much anymore. But when we are by ourselves he touches me. It never really bothered me before but I really hate him now. I have this habit..this urge to masterbate everyday at least once a day because of him. I masterbate about 1-10 times daily and it really interferes with my school and homework. I don't know what to do. Even if I did rat him out now, the damage is already done. And my parents would be furious that I never told them sooner. I don't want to have to tell, but I need help. I need to know what's best for and and what I can do to stop this addiction and to stop having the urge to masterbate. Someone please reply.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a counselor, for almost 20 years.  I am sorry that you went through this.  I would seek out the support of a counselor who specializes I helping victims of sexual abuse.  This will help you to work through it, and to prevent it from affecting your future relationships. Sometimes, not dealing with it leads you to more abusive relationships, or to inadvertently hurt someone else.  If you are younger then 18, speak with the parent you are most comfortable with.  They will most likely react, but only because they care and love you.  Don't keep it a secret. You might also speak with a school counselor. Keep in mind they are mandated reporters and will have to protect you. Hope this helps. You are in my prayers.
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Avatar_f_tn
my son is 6, his teacher just called me today and told the the news that he has been mastrebating in school.  His father is mentally abusive and controlling, we have been going through a 4 year long divorce.  He is very shy and nervous and hates school.  The teacher feels it is anxiety.  We live currently with my parents right now, he is very clingly and seems emotionally drained everytime he comes back from his fathers.  I am trying to get him to a psychologist.  My question to you is, how do you think I should handle this situation?  Do you think I should talk to him about it ?  What should i say?  I don't want him to continue and I have thought about how embarressing it will be for him since he does not realize what he is doing.
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Avatar_f_tn
please call ALIVE.  talk to a counselor.  Also, tell your parents now.  They should understand you are a child and as chilren, you are finding the answers.  Don't be ashamed.  Just seek help.  No one has the right to touch your body.  He should not ever touch you, next time he is near you, tell him he will not do that to you any longer.  First thing, find someone to tell right away.
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Avatar_f_tn
that message was for a young girl scared to tell her parents, not for me.
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