I was being Nosey and stubbled upon...

Jackie - posted on 09/29/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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OK, so I was totally being nosey and cruising around some other COM Communities that I don't belong to. Well, I stumbled upon a thread that said, " My son is 10 months old and every time I change his diaper, he want's to play with himself. How do I teach him that it's not ok to masturbate?"

Now, this was a religious community and I'm not one to judge (or at least I shouldn't) and I'm not very knowledgeable in the teachings of this particular religion but I was blown away by the question!

First of all, it's a 10 month old baby exploring himself and second, why is not ok to masturbate (when you're older)? Is it seen as a sin? Why?

I personally always thought it was perfectly natural to masturbate. Wouldn't that be better than being promiscuous, especially for men?

Thoughts?

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Corena - posted on 10/01/2010

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I am a bible believing Christian. I have studied this issue from a Christian perspective and have not found even one thing in the bible to support the teaching that masturbation is sin. (That goes for most other sexual acts as well. I believe that pretty much anything done in the marriage bed between husband and wife is ok.) I believe it is just one of those rules that was made up long ago by scared and uptight religious people and is now assumed to be biblical.
I want my children to love their bodies and take pride in them and know them well enough that they are able to help their future spouse know the right ways to please them. Just one more tool to help them have happy, fulfilling marriages.
The only thing I tell them not to do is touching themselves in public. We teach them that their room is the appropriate place to do that.
Anyone assuming that a ten month old touching themselves during a diaper change is intentionally masturbating is, imo, projecting their own sexual insecurity onto their children. I don't think that is OK.

Charlie - posted on 09/30/2010

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Repressing a persons sexuality and teaching them masturbation is wrong can and does have dire effect on their sexuality as an adult.



It IS perfectly natural to masturbate in fact masturbation is not only natural it is benificial for your health .

Male masturbation keeps their sperm supply fresh ( meaning stronger swimmers ) relieves tension and stress in women and men and helps one discover where their most sensitive of areas .

Babies touch their genitals because it feels good NOT because they are having lusty thoughts , it is self exploration .

WE ARE BORN WITH THIS INSTINCT FOR A REASON .



I also want to add with out intent to offend that i find the religious aspect of masturbation to be a sin just one invented way to control the masses because if you can control a persons sexuality then you find them weaker and at a point where control is much easier .



so many are afraid to have their children do what is natural for fear it could be construed as the child being abused BUT i feel suppressing a childs abilty to explore their bodies and sexuality a HUGE diservice to them as sexually aware adults , in my mind destroying a persons sexuality by deeming it wrong is the real abuse here .

Corena - posted on 10/01/2010

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The scripture that anti-masturbation people quote is in Genesis 38 and is specifically refering to a man named Onan. In that time if your brother had a wife and he died it was your responsibility to get her pregnant to carry on your brother's legacy. Onan disobeyed because he knew that if she got pregnant the child would not be considered his and instead of doing what was his duty, he "spilled his seed" on the ground so that she would not get pregnant.
It was not even masturbation...he DID have sex with her, he just "pulled out". It is so irritating when scripture is taken out of context to "support" people ideas of what is right and wrong.
Grrrr...

Ava - posted on 10/01/2010

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Okay, in church this is considered a sin because of a Bible passage that states that it's better to lay your seed in the belly of a whore than leave it on the ground. That is, literally taken, the Bible would rather a man sleep with a harlot than masturbate. It's a waste of seed. But this was written in a time when the human population wasn't very high and the death rate was frequently higher than the birth rate. It was a scare tactic to get people to have children instead of resorting to masturbation. In the same, there's no medical benefit to circumcision; circumcision was started as a way to curb a man's sexual appetite (because it kills/cuts off nerve endings in the penis; an uncut penis is more sensitive than one that isn't) so that he wouldn't masturbate as an adult because it's a sin, and they wanted to keep men from that sinful behavior. That being said, ALL kids play with themselves. For my daughter, I give her about twenty minutes every day she is allowed to run around without a diaper (so long as she's already gone #2, isn't sick, and has *just* peed and had a wet diaper removed) so that she can explore herself and be comfortable (helps combat against diaper rash). She doesn't touch herself much anymore during diaper changes.



Also, you can't teach a baby it's not okay to 'masturbate' because they aren't sexually mature yet and won't understand what masturbation is until they do it, and they begin doing that closer to the double digit age than the toddler age. And I mean intentionally, while lusting for something with the purpose to get themselves 'off', which only at that point do I think they're cognitive enough to know if it's right or wrong for themselves. There's nothing wrong with letting a baby explore their own bodyparts. It just goes to show this 'that's a sin!' nonsense stems as a way to prevent kids from doing things the parents don't understand or want to understand.

Bonnie - posted on 09/30/2010

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Yes, yes. and yes.



The thing is that many of us come into these issues with a set of values that have been etched there over time.



It is perfectly natural for a baby to explore his environment, which includes his or her own body. Exploring his or her world is part of a baby's core development.



When it happens, it is our reaction which is important, or the lack of reaction to be more specific.



Making a big deal out of this will make it a big deal.



Most children go through an exploration phase which does not last past curiosity. Do not dwell on the action if it happens, just fasten up the diaper and carry on with the next activity of the day.

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31 Comments

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Kate CP - posted on 10/12/2010

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Mary: You can teach kids that it's not appropriate to do in front of other people without making it sound dirty or wrong.

Mary - posted on 10/12/2010

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I have read several of the posts here - and I am wondering, while it's natural to discover ... would you permit them to continue touching themselves ? How would you distract them because it isn['t something you want them doing in public and all the time? Would you?

Danielle - posted on 10/05/2010

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I agree not only is he figuring out what that is down there but no one should know their body better than themselves. masturbation is looked at as filthy in some religions but i agree with you. my daughter is almost two years old and explain to her what things are as much as she can understand anyways.

Becky - posted on 10/03/2010

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When my daughter was an infant, I was shocked when her Doc. asked me if she had shown any interest in her privates yet. She explained she was at the right age for that type of self exploration and it was perfectly normal behavior. Did I mention that our family Doc is a devote Christian who does not believe in medical birth control & will not prescribe if for women? I asked her once, and while she will not try to dissuade me from my believes, she refuses to take part in that aspect because of her beliefs. She had the clinics nurse practitioner come in & discuss options with me and give me the prescription I wanted instead.
Over all my beliefs are that people of all ages need to be comfortable in their own skin . . . sensitive areas included. How can you feel strong & confidant about yourself or your body if you believe a part of your body is dirty or wrong?
That being said my Mother never said anything to me at all about touching myself, masturbation or sex. We didn't even talk about puberty or a womens cycle. I never learned my body was "dirty" but oh boy was I ever confused & embarrassed because I thought I was abnormal when I was a preteen.
When my daughter as an infant/toddler started touching herself, I never scolded or corrected except in public. I used to tell her that no one else wanted to see her doing it.

Denikka - posted on 10/02/2010

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I've always been more concerned more with the tugging and pulling and..pinching than I ever have been about the touching in itself. I'm another parent who just doesn't GET how my son can be so brutal to his sensitive bits :P
He usually does it during a change, and all I've ever said about it is that he needs to move his hands so that I can put his diaper back on.
I don't get the whole big negative thing about masturbation...or anything sexual in general. . .

Jaclyn - posted on 10/02/2010

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oh i cant even deal with this nonsense. my son does it yes at first i was like uhm was this normal.. and of course duhh it is.. i just thought it was a little excessive and i mean its kinda funny but then again quite weird but hes exploreing and i have done some reasearch on it.
idk people are a little too much with these message boards ha. its completly normal not a sin but like i always say to each their own.. im not going to stop my son its not out of the ordinary

[deleted account]

I'm confused as to why she would refer to this as masturbation for God's sake it's a 10 month old baby! There's nothing wrong with masturbation, it's a totally healthy, normal thing to do and as for this baby he'll want to explore everything and if that includes touching his penis then so be it. Some people need to get a braincheck. If she believes masturbartion is wrong fair enough but if I touched my boob to scratch it for instance would that me feeling myself in a sexual way...I think not!

Lyndsay - posted on 10/02/2010

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I don't have any issues with masturbation, even for kids. It's perfectly natural for kids to become obsessed with their private parts around the age of 2, and it carries on into pre-school age until they become interested in the private parts of other kids. My own son went through a phase where he constantly had his hands down his pants, I just told him that if he wants to play with his penis he needs to go to his room and do it in private. He's now 3 and although he sometimes still fiddles with himself, it's not a huge issue and he will stop as soon as I remind him that he's in public (like the living room). Whatever he does by himself is his perogative.

[deleted account]

LOL.... I am totally ok if my baby wants to touch themselves. As long as the poopy is cleaned off first.

[deleted account]

Ya'll remember that saying, "If you shake it more than tree times you are playing with yourself"?



Who rah, for sexual freedom! We fought to have it ourselves and now we fight for out babies?



I think that there is something wrong with a mother that would use the church as an excuse to place such a burden on a child. How in the hell could you tell your baby or toddler that they are or will be a sexual devient because they touched themselves?



If that is the case, she probably learned that church going behavior from her parents when they told her the same thing, wilst touching herself. Well, guess she's going to hell.



I can just imagine the replies she got back...



"You raised a perv and now it's your turn to burn in hell!"

or

"You are in our prayers, because your going to burn in hell with your devient child."



Crazy, just crazy!

LaCi - posted on 09/30/2010

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lol. That's pretty much all my son does. He's potty training and diaper free 90% of the time. Oh man, and when I go to put a diaper on him before bed he'll grab at it furiously as though he's never going to see it again, he gets very upset ;x Too funny.

We're also guilty of saying *don't pull it off, you'll need it when your older* totally freaks me out how he yanks on it sometimes. I'm just waiting for him to injure himself.

Johnny - posted on 09/29/2010

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I'm just copying my response from elsewhere because I need to go watch the shows I've PVR'd before my recorder explodes, so:







Ah, the passing down of perversions and hang-ups from one generation to the next. It isn't about religion. It's about fear. People are afraid of the power of sex so they use god as an excuse to hide from it. I think some churches fear that if people were satisfied in other ways, they wouldn't need to seek religion. If more people masturbated and did it well, we'd have a lot less problems in the world.



And anyone who thinks that a 10 month old touching themselves is a sexual thing is a great big giant pervert themselves. PERV!

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Krista, you are not alone! My son just pulls twists and tugs on his genitals without a wince. I guess they must become more sensitive as they grow up,,,

[deleted account]

Krista, one of my 'favorite' sayings to my son is 'don't pull it off, you're going to need that later.' lol!

[deleted account]

I agree that it's perfectly normal. I got an email about this actually, from baby center. It even when on to say that toddlers will masturbate until they reach an orgasm. I didn't know that. Can it make you a little uncomfortable? Sure, but just teach them that they should do it in private. Shaming them into thinking it's dirty or wrong *will* cause problems in the future.

Krista - posted on 09/29/2010

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I think there's a difference, though, between teaching a child that their genitals are something that if they want to touch them, they need to do so in private, and just forbidding them from touching themselves, full stop.

It's perfectly fine and appropriate to teach a child that there is a time and a place for that kind of thing. But to teach them that it's "not OK" to masturbate...well, that just seems like it's setting them up to think that there is something wrong and shameful about the fact that they derive pleasure from their genitals.

And Sherri, I can see why, running a daycare, you'd be extra cautious. But the OP was talking about a 10-month old who grabs himself during a diaper change. That doesn't even COUNT as masturbation -- it's just exploration.

On a side note, do any other mothers of baby boys marvel at how hard they can yank at their junk without it appearing to hurt them? I cringe when I see it, and my husband just turns very, very pale.

Sherri - posted on 09/29/2010

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I never let me kids play with themselves as little kids. It just didn't seem right and I certainly didn't want to see it and I didn't want them ever doing something they shouldn't in public. So it was leave yourself alone. However, I had to make it so as I do daycare in my home I can NEVER have anything that could even be construed as inappropriate. I have little kids here from the moment mine wake up in the morning till 5:30pm so no not allowed.

Amber - posted on 09/29/2010

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Charlene~ You said exactly what I was going to say. Telling children things like this leads to them being uncomfortable with their bodies and with sex later in life.
My son is 4, and he's definitely learned that he has a little something down there to play with haha. We are trying to teach him not to whip it out in public but don't want to make him think that there is anything wrong with his body.

Charlene - posted on 09/29/2010

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Seriously?

That poor boy. Gracie has started doing the same thing and at 14 months, I just let her be. Unless there is poo there.. then I try to get her to wait. :P

When she gets a little older, I will teach her that it's OKAY to explore her body, but there is a time and a place for it.



Speaking from experience, attitudes like the one from that woman, are what create (for lack of a better phrase) an uncomfortable sex life later on. When I was younger I was always taught that it was wrong, so now I am very uncomfortable when it comes to masturbation and sex. I am slowly breaking out of my comfort zone, but I feel as though it wouldn't be so difficult if I hadn't been told for so long that it was wrong and dirty. I know now that it isn't, but changing that mind set when in the bedroom is easier said than done.



And even though I am not a religious person, I have to agree with Teresa and say that the act in itself is not wrong. It's when a person becomes obsessed with it that it can get out of hand.

Tanya - posted on 09/29/2010

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Yeah it is sad.

I guess the reason some people have a problem with masturbation is b/c you lust while doing it. The you have the Onanist.

I can't believe that you would want a little boy too think his penis is bad.

[deleted account]

I grew up in a Southern Baptist church (no longer a believer) and I do know that such things are taught to be a sin but I don't remember ever being told why. A lot of religious folks think a lot of normal things are sinful and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if someone came on here and quoted scripture about masturbation (or on the thread you originally saw this). I think it's sad that there are babies out there that are being denied the chance to explore their bodies...and totally NOT in a sexual manner. Any sane and rational person knows that to a baby, everything is new and they don't know the difference between a penis and a toe. I also think it's sad that these kids are gonna grow up thinking that any part of themselves is dirty or untouchable.

[deleted account]

First of all, I agree w/ you that that is NOT masturbation. Just discovering body parts and nothing wrong w/ that. My advice to that would be to distract him until he's clean though... who wants their baby's hands in the poop? ;)

As far as the sin angle goes... I don't believe masturbation in and of itself is a sin... not at all. I do believe it CAN become a sin if it becomes an 'obsession', for lack of a better word, but then it's the obsession that is the sin... not the masturbation itself.

Did that make sense?

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