According to a report from the University of Michigan medicine, Masturbation is deliberate self-stimulation that results in self-comfort or sexual arousal.

#Children discover their genitals and the pleasure they get from touching them, this increases their #Sexual Interest but is normally lesser than that of adolescents. It can get most infants involved in sex play with each other. As a result of this, they develop a strong romantic attachment to parents of the opposite sex, develop curiosity about the origin of babies, wish to make babies and eventually an increased interest in masturbation.

Children develop sexual interest from 3 to 5 years but it becomes inhibited from 6 to 11 years period, they become anxious about competing romantically with parents of the same sex, being curious about understanding why girls are not made like boys, why their parents disapprove of masturbation and other sexual activities.

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Different belief about childhood sexuality and masturbation

Most parents feel threatened when they discover their children indulge in masturbation, sometimes blaming it on themselves, assuming it to be a result of their inadequacy as parents. Some feed their children with the wrong beliefs that masturbation would injure their genitals, shrivel the penis or course insanity. Medical studies have proved these beliefs as unfounded, a majority of children and adults masturbate more at a certain stage, there has been no physical or psychological harm associated with masturbation.

It is a way children learn about their bodies and gender differences which relieve tension and provide comfort for children and adult to manage all kinds of fears and worries. Masturbation in children poses a great problem to parents who have a contrary religion or moral beliefs.

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I advise that such parents should desist from threats of hellfire, insanity or physical harm because these may scare sensitive children to the point of having permanent emotional and sexual difficulties. Parents should rather caution their children in a gentle manner and make them realize that such action is against their belief.

Masturbation in infants

Children start from six months old to explore their bodies; this will lead them to discover other parts of their bodies. They feel pleasure when they stroke their genitals and as they get older, they remember the pleasurable sensation that makes them purposely touch their private parts from time to time.

At two to three years of age, children become aware of gender differences mostly that of a girl’s lack of penis in her body. Increased interest in the genitals leads to increased interest in children masturbation. They continue to masturbate up until three years of age, stroking their genitals from time to time. Boys and girls at this age will be openly interested in each other’s bodies and can engage in a show and touch play with other children.

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They will at times stroke their genitals to comfort themselves when tense or frightened.

Parents need to know that the fear that something will happen to their private parts is one of the major causes of increased masturbation in children. It will make matters worse to tell such children they will injure themselves or that they are bad, a better way is to try to take away the fear as soon as it starts to develop.