December 7, 2013
It is a subject that has provoked a host of myths, from causing blindness and insanity to the loss of vital organs.
Now two academics are on a mission to set the record straight about masturbation – and highlight all the health benefits it can bring.
Anthony Santella, a public health scientist at the University of Sydney and his colleague Spring Chenoa Cooper, a senior lecturer, say self-pleasuring can ward off a host of illnesses, from cystitis, diabetes to prostate cancer.
They say that 94 per cent of men admit to masturbating, as do 85 per cent of women – and that it’s something even babies do from the time they are in the womb.
Writing for The Conversation, a website where academics write opinion pieces, they say: ‘For women, masturbation can help prevent cervical infections and urinary tract infections through the process of “tenting,” or the opening of the cervix that occurs as part of the arousal process.
‘Tenting stretches the cervix, and thus the cervical mucous. This enables fluid circulation, allowing cervical fluids full of bacteria to be flushed out.’
They add that engaging in self-pleasure can also ‘lower the risk of type-2 diabetes (though this association may also be explained by greater overall health), reduce insomnia through hormonal and tension release, and increase pelvic floor strength through the contractions that happen during orgasm.’