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Masturbation How Serious is It

Masturbation How Serious is It

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Published by: sbmemon on Sep 05, 2009
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10/15/2012

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Masturbation—How Serious Is It?
“I’m wondering if masturbation is wrong in the eyes of God. Will it affect my physicaland/or mental health in the future and if I ever get married?”—Fifteen-year-old Melissa.THESE thoughts have plagued many youths. The reason? Masturbation is widespread.Reportedly, some 97 percent of males and more than 90 percent of females havemasturbated by the age of 21. Furthermore, this practice has been blamed for all manner of ills—from warts and red eyelids to epilepsy and mental illness.Twentieth-century medical researchers no longer make such alarming claims. Indeed,doctors today believe that no physical illness is caused by masturbation. ResearchersWilliam Masters and Virginia Johnson add that “there is no established medical evidencethat masturbation, regardless of frequency, leads to mental illness.” Nevertheless, there
are
other ill effects! And many Christian youths are rightly concerned about the practice.“When I gave in to [masturbation], I’d feel as if I were failing Jehovah God,” wrote oneyouth. “I got seriously depressed sometimes.”Just what is masturbation? How serious is it, and why do so many youths find it to be ahabit that is hard to break?
Why Youths Are Vulnerable
Masturbation is deliberate self-stimulation to produce sexual arousal. During the bloom of youth, sexual desires become strong. Powerful hormones are released that affect thereproductive organs. A youth thus becomes aware that these organs are capable of  producing pleasurable sensations. And sometimes a youth may become sexually excitedwithout even thinking about sex.For instance, the tensions produced by various worries, fears, or frustrations can affect a boy’s sensitive nervous system and cause sexual arousal. A buildup of semen may in turncause him to awaken sexually excited. Or it may produce a nocturnal emission, usuallyaccompanied by an erotic dream. Similarly, some young girls may find themselvesstimulated unintentionally. Many have a heightened sexual desire just before or after their menstrual period.So if you have experienced such arousal, there is nothing wrong with you. This is a normalresponse of a youthful body. Such sensations, even if very intense, are not the same asmasturbation, since they are largely involuntary. And as you grow older, the intensity of these new sensations will subside.Curiosity and the novelty of these new sensations, though, lead some youths deliberately tomanipulate, or play with, their sexual organs.
‘Mental Fuel’
 
The Bible describes a young man who meets a promiscuous woman. She kisses him andsays: “Do come, . . . let us enjoy each other with love expressions.” Then what happens?“All of a sudden he is going after her, like a bull that comes even to the slaughter.”(Proverbs 7:7-22) Obviously, this youth’s passions were aroused not simply because hishormones were at work but because of what he saw and heard.Similarly, one young man admits: ‘The root of my whole problem with masturbation boileddown to what I put in my mind. I would watch TV programs that included immorality andin some cases watch programs on cable TV that would show nudity. Such scenes are soshocking that they stay with you. They would surface again in my mind, providing themental fuel needed to engage in masturbation.’Yes, often it is what one reads, watches, or listens to, as well as what one talks about or meditates on, that triggers masturbation. As one 25-year-old woman confessed: “I justcouldn’t seem to stop the habit. However, I used to read romance novels, and thiscontributed to the problem.”
A “Tranquilizer
This young woman’s experience reveals what is undoubtedly the greatest reason why thehabit can be so hard to break. She continues: “Usually I masturbated to release pressure,tension, or anxiety. That fleeting pleasure was like the drink the alcoholic takes to calm hisnerves.”Researchers Suzanne and Irving Sarnoff write: “For some people masturbation may become a habit to which they turn for solace whenever they are rebuffed or feelapprehensive about something. Others, however, may withdraw in this way onlyoccasionally, when they are under the most acute emotional stress.” Evidently, otherssimilarly resort to the habit when upset, depressed, lonely, or under much stress; it becomesa “tranquilizer” to blot out their troubles.
What Does the Bible Say?
A youth asked: “Is masturbation an unforgivable sin?” Masturbation is not mentioned at allin the Bible. The practice was common in the Greek-speaking world during Bible times,and several Greek words were used to describe the practice. But not one of these words isused in the Bible.Since masturbation is not directly condemned in the Bible, does this mean it is harmless?
 Absolutely
 
not!
Though it is not classed with such gross sins as fornication, masturbation issurely an unclean habit. (Ephesians 4:19) The principles of God’s Word thus indicate thatyou “benefit yourself” by strongly resisting this unclean habit.—Isaiah 48:17.
Arousing “Sexual Appetite”
 
“Deaden, therefore, your body members,” urges the Bible, “as respects . . . sexual appetite.”(Colossians 3:5) “Sexual appetite” refers not to normal sexual feelings but to passion that isout of control. Such “sexual appetite” can thus lead to one’s indulging in gross acts, asdescribed by Paul at Romans 1:26, 27.But does not masturbation “deaden” these desires? No, on the contrary, as one youthconfessed: “When you masturbate, you dwell mentally on wrong desires, and all that doesis increase your appetite for them.” Often an immoral fantasy is used to increase the sexual pleasure. (Matthew 5:27, 28) Therefore, given the right circumstances, one could easily fallinto immorality. This happened to one youth, who admits: “At one time, I felt thatmasturbation could relieve frustration without my getting involved with a female. Yet Ideveloped an overpowering desire to do so.” He committed fornication. Not surprisingly, anationwide study revealed that the majority of adolescents who masturbated were alsocommitting fornication. They outnumbered those who were virgins by 50 percent!
Mentally and Emotionally Defiling
Masturbation also instills certain attitudes that are mentally corrupting. (Compare2 Corinthians 11:3.) When masturbating, a person is immersed in his or her own bodilysensations—totally self-centered. Sex becomes separated from love and is relegated to areflex that releases tension. But God intended that sexual desires be satisfied in sexualrelations—an expression of love between a man and his wife.—Proverbs 5:15-19.A masturbator may also tend to view the opposite sex as mere sex objects—tools for sexualsatisfaction. Wrong attitudes taught by masturbation thus defile one’s “spirit,” or dominantmental inclination. In some cases, the problems caused by masturbation persist even after marriage! For good reason, God’s Word urges: “Beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit.”—2 Corinthians 7:1.
A Balanced View of Guilt
Many youths, though generally successful in overcoming this bad habit, occasionally givein to it. Fortunately, God is very merciful. “For you, O Jehovah, are good and ready toforgive,” said the psalmist. (Psalm 86:5) When a Christian succumbs to masturbation, hisheart is often self-condemning. Yet, the Bible states that “God is greater than our hearts andknows all things.” (1 John 3:20) God sees more than our sins. The greatness of hisknowledge enables him to hear with sympathy our earnest pleas for forgiveness. As oneyoung woman wrote: “I have felt guilty to an extent, but knowing what a loving GodJehovah is and that he can read my heart and know all my efforts and intentions keeps mefrom feeling too depressed when I fail on occasion.” If you fight the desire to masturbate, itis not likely that you will commit the serious sin of fornication.The September 1, 1959, issue of 
The
 
Watchtower 
stated: “We [may] find ourselvesstumbling and falling many times over some bad habit that has bitten more deeply into our former pattern of life than we had realized. . . . Do not despair. Do not conclude you havecommitted the unforgivable sin. That is just how Satan would like you to reason. The fact

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