WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence and frequency of masturbation differs between males and females throughout adolescence but is associated in both with several partnered sexual behaviors, according to a study published online Aug. 1 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Cynthia L. Robbins, M.D., from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues evaluated the prevalence and frequency of masturbation and its correlation with partnered sexual behaviors in a nationally representative sample of American adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17 years. The main outcomes measures were solo masturbation, condom use, and partnered sexual behaviors.
The investigators found a higher prevalence of masturbation in males compared to females (73.8 versus 48.1 percent). Masturbation in males increased with age; at age 14 years 62.5 percent reported at least one previous event and at age 17 years 80 percent reported ever having masturbated. Recent masturbation in males also increased with age, with 42.9 percent of 14 year olds reporting masturbating in the past month compared to 67.6 percent of 17 year olds. Previous masturbation events in females increased with age, with 43.3 percent reporting masturbating at age 14 compared to 58 percent of 17 year olds, but recent masturbation did not increase with age. For both males and females, masturbation was correlated with a number of partnered sexual behaviors. Condom use was correlated with masturbation in males but not in females.
"Prevalence and frequency of masturbation differs markedly between males and females throughout adolescence," the authors write.
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