Did You Know?--Monkeys Masturbate
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By Sarah Ott and Robert Redman


In our expanding quest to understand masturbation, we
inevitably ended up where all those who dare wander into
the murky depths of human behavior --- in cages.  So, we
asked the fateful question --do monkeys masturbate?  

Yes, they do. According to research conducted by the
Department of Anthropology, University College London,
and published in the Journal Folia Primatalogica, monkeys
and apes in the wild masturbate.  

Researchers observed the Red Colobus monkey, one of the
so-called Old World monkeys, engaging in masturbation
frequently.  And they do so not because they are bored or
in captivity --these monkeys were observed in the wild.
And they do so even when female monkeys and apes are
available.
Sound familiar?

The researchers theory is that monkeys masturbate to rid
the body of poorer quality sperm. Both lower primates and
humans produce a ton of sperm --about 140 million sperm
per milliliter. Some of these are defective or of  low quality.
It's even been shown in studies involving humans that
eating
soy can reduce a man's  sperm count to the point of
infertility.

Drs. Baker and Bellis in a studies conducted in 1993 and
1995 have suggested that masturbation is a reproductive
strategy whereby low-quality sperm is flushed out of the
system, thus increasing the quality of the next ejaculate
which then should out-compete older sperm from rivals
during sperm competition. In short, it has been suggested
that  masturbation is a part of the primate male's
reproductive strategy, by which sperm ejaculates quality is
optimised, thus increasing to their ability to fertilize females
in a sperm competition game with rival males.



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Masturbation Facts



  • 95-98% of men and 56-89% of women have
    masturbated at some point in their lives,
    according to a 1993 study by researchers
    Janus and Janus and a 2002 study by
    researchers Pinkerton, Bogart

  • Male college students reported masturbating
    an average of 4 times per week, 12 times per
    month

  • Female college students reported
    masturbating a little more than 1 time per
    week, 4.7 times per month

  • African Americans report masturbating fewer
    than whites, averaging 62% at some time in
    their lives, compared with 98% of white
    males, in a 2002 study by
    researchersRobinson, Bockting, & Harrell.

  • Of those who live with a sexual partner, 85%
    of men still masturbate and 45% of women
    continue to masturbate, according to a 1994
    study by researchers
Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels.


  • Masturbation protects against  Prostate
    Cancer. Men who masturbate more than 5
    times a week in their 20's are 33%  less likely
    to develop the most aggressive form of
    prostate cancer later in life. A 2003 study by
    Graham Giles at the Cancer Council of Victoria
    in Melbourne Australia found that the
    ejaculate helps to "flush" or rid the male body
    of carcinogens.


  • Masturbation appears to tone the penis by
    exercising the pubococcygeal (PC) muscle,
    commonly known as the "pelvic floor". The PC
    extends from the mons pubis to the anus. You
    use your PC to hold your water, preventing
    urination. Dr. Arnold Kegel a Californian
    obstetrician developed the "Kegel exercises in
    1946 to prevent incontinence. Since then,
    Kegel exercises have been used to tighten the
    vagina after childbirth and to heighten sexual
    pleasure in both men and women.
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