Frequent masturbation correlates with safer sex

A new survey of American teens found that boys tend to masturbate more and start younger than girls, and the most – we'll say "enthusiastic" – of them actually participate in safer sex practices more often than their peers, according to WikiNews.

"Many adolescent boys and girls masturbate, and among sexually active teens masturbation is associated with other sexual behaviors and condom use," said Dr. Cynthia L. Robbins, the news source reports. "It is important to recognize that masturbation is an important and normal component of adolescent sexual development."

The methodology of the research, which was published in The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, was straightforward. Researchers asked female and male participants, ages 14 to 17, how often they masturbated and how often they used condoms.

Almost 75 percent of boys said that they masturbated, compared to less than half of girls. Half of the male participants said they had some time alone twice or more a week, compared to 23 percent of girls.

The boys who made a habit of masturbation were eight times more likely to use a condom, although there didn't appear to be a correlation when it came to female subjects.

"The findings of this study together with existing publications on masturbation should be used by health care providers to inform, educate and reassure adolescents about masturbation to provide competent and comprehensive sexuality education in the clinical setting," the study authors wrote, according to Reuters.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that condoms can prevent both the spread of common STDs and reduce the risk of pregnancy. 

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