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The word masturbation is derived from the Greek word mezea ("penises") and the Latin turbare ("to disturb"). Masturbation is the manual excitation of the sexual organs, most often to the point of orgasm. It can refer to excitation either by oneself or by another, but commonly refers to such activities performed alone. It is a universal phenomenon particularly among the young people, when both boys and girls may like to experiment with their own body to let out their sexual tension.

Frequency of masturbation is determined by many factors, e.g. one's ability to resist transient sexual tension, hormones levels influencing sexual arousal, one's attitude to masturbation formed by culture. It is thought that most people begin masturbating when reaching adolescence.

In any sexually active relationships, women are less likely to masturbate than men but both sexes occasionally engage in this activity. In general it is believed that individuals of either sex who are not in sexually active relationships tend to masturbate more frequently than those who are; however, much of the time this is not true as masturbation alone or with a partner is often a feature of a healthy relationship.

In relation to health, Masturbation once was believed to cause everything from acne to impotency but now attitudes towards it are considerably more positive. Masturbation can relieve depression and lead to a higher sense of self-worth. Both from the standpoint of avoiding unwanted pregnancy and that of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases; masturbation is the safest of sexual practices. Solitary masturbation carries no risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Masturbation involving both a man and a woman, can result in pregnancy only if semen contacts the vulva and transmission of sexually transmitted disease by contact with bodily fluids, and such contact should be avoided with any partner whose disease status is uncertain. There is no credible scientific or medical evidence that manual masturbation is damaging to either one's mental or physical health. Maintaining hygiene is very important to masturbation either through self or other person or through an object.

In many religions, masturbation is regarded as a sinful practice. Attitudes toward masturbation, or sexual self stimulation of the genitals, vary widely across cultures. These attitudes may affect both, behaviour and feelings about masturbation. Many young people develop a feeling of guilt or anxiety associated with this act, which may cause some psychological stress. Masturbation is an outcome of sexual urges and does not have any physical, biological or emotional outcomes. It can be as normal as any other activity provided one is not obsessed by it. Over indulgence may impede the person from doing other important works.

After reading the above explanation about masturbation, if you think that you need more help for some specific problem that you are facing as an adolescent, parent or teacher then you can refer to the toll free number of YUVA Help-line

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