Twentieth-century attitudes toward masturbation

Abstract

This article demonstrates the progress that medicine, psychiatry, religion, and anthropology have made toward a variant perspective, of masturbation. Researchers documented the suffering and damage caused by classically ingrained religious and medical distortions.

The “secret sin” of Judeo-Christianity and the “social disease” of nineteenth-century medicine has paradoxially become the therapy for various forms of psychosexual dysfunction. Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish denominations polarize opinions from rigorous orthodoxy to unconditional acceptance of this psychosexual behavior as a source of emotional homeostasis.

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Authors

Additional information

Michael S. Patton, Ph.D., is an anthropologist concerned with sex research in society, history, and religion. He lives in Mansfield, OH 44903.

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Patton, M.S. Twentieth-century attitudes toward masturbation. J Relig Health 25, 291–302 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01534067

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Keywords

  • Variant Perspective
  • Unconditional Acceptance
  • Social Disease
  • Jewish Denomination
  • Psychosexual Dysfunction