Age of Consent in European & American History

What was the ‘Age of Consent’ in European and American history, prior to the 20th century? In this article, I shall bring forth evidences which demonstrate that the ‘Age of consent’ was indeed, very young, even by today’s standards. I will provide academic sources which show that girls were allowed to be married at the age of 10 years old and sometimes times, as young as 7 years old, legally. It was norm just over 100 years ago to see girls being married off at very young ages. In most cultures, the marriage would have been consummated at the onset of puberty.

1. Professor of history Margaret Wade Labarge

“It needs to be remembered that many Medieval widows were not old, Important heiresses were often married between the ages of 5 and 10 and might find themselves widowed while still in their teens.” [1]

2. Professor Richard Wortley and Professor Stephen Smallbone, both of whom state that prior to the 1900s girls married very young,

“In Medieval and early modern European societies, the age of marriage remained low, with documented cases of brides as young as seven years, although marriages were typically not consummated until the girl reached puberty (Bullough 2004). Shakespeare’s Juliet was just 13, and there is no hint in the play that this was considered to be exceptional. The situation was similar on the other side of the Atlantic; Bullough reports the case in 1689 of a nine-year-old bride in Virginia. At the start of the nineteenth century in England, it was legal to have sex with a 10 year-old girl.” [2]

3. In the book, ‘Sex and Society’,

“Until the late 20th century U.S. age of consent laws specifically names males as perpetrators and females as victims. Following English law, in which the age was set at 12 in 1275 and lowered to 10 in 1576, ages of consent in the American colonies were generally set at 10 or 12. The laws protected female virginity, which at the time was considered a valuable commodity until marriage. The theft of a girl’s chastity was seen as a property crime against her father and future husband. If two people were married and had sex, no matter what their age, no crime was committed because a woman was her husband’s property. In practice, too, the consent laws only protected white females, as many non-white females were enslaved or otherwise discriminated against by the legal system.” [3]

4. Richard A. Posner is chief judge of the U.S court of appeals, Seventh Circuit Chicago. Katherine B. Silbaugh is associate Professor at Boston University School of Law, they say that before the 1900s age of consent was ten years old,

“The law governing the age of consent has changed dramatically in the United States during this century. Most states codified a statutory age of consent during the nineteenth century, and the usual age was ten years.” [4]

5. The Scottish Law prior to 1900s by Sir John Comyns and Stewart Kyd,

“By the law of Scotland, a woman cannot contrabere sponsalia before her age of seven years. 1 Rol. 343. I. 20.
But by common law, persons may marry at any age. Co. Lit. 33. A.
And upon such marriage the wife shall be endowed, if the attain the age of nine years, of what whatsoever age her husband be; but not before the age of nine years. Co. L. 33. A.” [5]

6. Professor of Sociology Anthony Joseph Paul Cortese says that a 50 year old man being with a girl under 10 (being intimate) Under United States law was legal until the mid 1960s,

“In 1962, the American Law Institute recommended that the legal age of consent to sex- that is, the age below which sex is defined as statutory rape- be dropped in every state to age 10 (Katchadourian and Lund 1972: 439). In fact, until the mid 1960s, the legal age of consent in Delaware was 7 (Kling, 1965: 216). So a 50 year old man could legally have sexual intercourse with a 7 year old boy or girl.” [6]

7. Maureen Dabbagh is a writer and author. Born in Michigan, she serves as a Virginia Supreme Court Family Mediator, she echoes the same statements as previous authors,

“…the nineteenth century, the minimum age of consent for sexual intercourse in most American states was 10 years. In Delaware it was only 7 years.” [7]

8. Mike A. Males is an American sociologist who writes from a pro youth rights perspective. Males is a professor at the University of California, he writes,

“These early laws specified that a girl consenting to sex had to be at least 10 to 12 years old in most states, with a few specifying ages as old as 14 or 16. In Delaware, the age of consent was seven, based on ancient English laws setting the age squire.” [8]

9. Arthur Siccan Author of the Book: ‘What’s Wrong in America: A Look at Troublesome Issues in Our Country’, goes in a lot of detail on the issue of marriage at earlier times,

“Traditionally, across the globe, the age of consent for sexual union was a matter for the family to decide, or a tribal custom. In most cases, this coincided with signs of puberty, menstruation for a woman and pubic hair for a man.
Sir Edward Coke in 17th century England ‘made it clear that the marriage of girls under 12 was normal, and the age at which a girl who was a wife was eligible for a dower from her husband’s estate was 9. The American colonies followed the English tradition, and the law was more of a guide. For example Mary Hathaway of Virginia, was only 9 when she was married to William Williams.
Portugal, Spain, Denmark and the Swiss canons, initially set the age of consent at 10-12 years and then raised it to between 13 and 16 years in the second half of the 19th century. Historically, the English common law set the age of consent to range from 10- 12. In the United States, by the 1880s, most states set the age of consent at 10-12, and in one state Delaware, the age of consent was only 7. Social and resulting legal attitudes toward the appropriate age of consent have drifted upwards in modern times. For example while ages from 10 to 13 were typically acceptable in Western countries during the mid-19the century, the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century were marked by changing.
I believe that a lot of our current mores come from reluctance to let our children mature mentally as quickly as our bodies do. Keep in mind that not all societies share Western mores. And to my surprise, until the latter part of the 19th Century, Children in the Western nations were engaged and married at a much earlier age. The trend to give children more time to mature is relatively new.
In his book, The Emphatic civilization, (Penguin, NY, 200) Jeremy Rifkin points out that the concept of adolescence only emerged during the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first three decades of the twentieth century. Society started to think of childhood as extending beyond puberty, into the later teenage years. Before that, children were considered to graduate into adulthood with the onset of puberty.” [9]

10. The ’American Bar Association’ Journal [August 1996]:

“1275 English common law criminalizes statutory rape- sex between a man and a woman below the age of consent, which was first set at 12 years.
1576 Common Law age of consent lowered to 10 years.
1700s-1800s Statutory rape at common law adopted in the united states. States set the age of consent at 10 or 12 years.” [10]

11. Sinikka Elliott

“The statutes governing the minimum age under which sex cannot be legally consensual, and laws concerning marriage and workers rights, were modified to reflect these changing discourses around childhood. Age of sexual consent, for example, rose from 7 during colonial times to 10, 12, and eventually as high as 14 during the eighteenth centuries. By the late 1800s, the average age of consent in the United States was 14. Across the nation, however the age of consent was raised slowly, unevenly, and with great reluctance.” [11]

12. Susan M. Ross

“According to British common law during the colonial period, the age of consent was seven. Today we are astounded that girls of this age were assumed to know enough about sex (or about sin) to make such a decision competently.” [12]

13. Carolyn Cocca:

“At what age is a person capable of making and informed decision about whether or not to engage in sex? Would it be7,10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, or 21? Over the last 300 years, all the ages listed above were thought to be that magic age at which one could make such a decision, and all the ages listed above have, at various times, been inscribed into law as the age of consent to sex.” [13]

14. Merril D. Smith says that the age which a girl could marry was 10 to 13 in most societies,

“To that end, from ancient times to the present, many societies have acted to try to safeguard children from rape and other forms of sexual degradation, though they might define sexual degradation differently from era to era and from place to place. One way societies have tried to protect young girls is through laws that designate a statutory age of consent. Such laws prohibit men from having sexual relations with females under a specified age on legal theory that they are too young and immature to make informed decision and, therefore, are incapable of giving a legal consent. Historically, the age of consent was set at 10 or 13 years, depending on the era and the culture, and tended to coincide with female puberty, which was also the age at which a female could marry without parental permission.” [14]

15. Melissa Hope Ditmore

“United States, the age of consent was much lower. For example, in New York, the age of consent was ten years until 1885. After 1885, age of consent laws changed around the country, reaching 16 in New York in 1889 and 18 in 1895. Prior to these changes the age of consent in most places in the United States was 10 or 12 years.” [15]

16. Caryn Neumann

“Historically the age of consent was set somewhere between 10 and 13 years, depending on the Era and the culture, and tending to coincide with female puberty. In modern United States, the age of consent ranges from 14 – 18 years with 16 years as the standard.” [16]

17. Martha Rosenthal:

“During colonial times in the United States, the age of consent was 10 (except in Delaware, where the age of consent was 7).” [17]

18. Paula S. Fass

“Age of consent laws rose from as low as ten to between thirteen (France 1863) AND SIXTEEN (England and Wales 1885).” [18]

19. Edward J. Wood says that Thomas Lord Berkley was contracted to a girl who was at the time 7 years old and were to consummate the marriage 4 years later, but due to illness the marriage was consummated the following year,

“Thomas, Lord Berkeley, was contracted to Margaret, daughter of Gerald Warren, Lord Lisle, in the forty-first year of Edward III.; and by reason of her tender age- she was then only about seven years old- it was arranged that she should remain with her father for four years; but sickness happening in the family, they were married in the November following.” [19]


The following Table below shows most of the European countries and American States, ‘Age of Consent.’
I would like to thank ‘chnm.gnm.edu’  for all the information they have provided on age of consent in 1880. I retrieved the information from this website: http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/primary-sources/24


Date compiled from the following sources: Hirschfeld, Magnus. The Homosexuality of Men and Women. Translated by Michael Lombardi-Nash. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2000; Killias, Martin. “The Emergence of a New Taboo: The Desexualization of Youth in Western Societies Since 1800.” European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 8 (2000): 466; Odem, Mary. Delinquent Daughters: Policing and Protecting Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States, 1885-1920. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995; “Worldwide Ages of Consent,” AVERTing HIV and Aids, http://www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm (accessed November 29, 2007).

Primary Source Text: Age Limit in Age of Consent Laws in Selected Countries.

1880 1920 2007
Austria 14 14 14
Belgium 16 16
Bulgaria 13 13 14
Denmark 12 12 15
England & Wales 13 16 16
Finland 12 16
France 13 13 15
Germany 14 14 14
Greece 12 15
Italy 16 14
Luxembourg 15 15 16
Norway 16 16
Portugal 12 12 14
Romania 15 15 15
Russia 10 14 16
Scotland 12 12 16
Spain 12 12 13
Sweden 15 15 15
Switzerland various 16 16
Turkey 15 15 18
Argentina 12 13
Brazil 16 14
Chile 20 20 18
Ecuador 14 14
Canada 12 14 14
New South Wales 12 16 16
Queensland 12 17 16
Victoria 12 16 16
Western Australia 12 14 16
United States
Alabama 10 16 16
Alaska 16 16
Arizona 12 18 18
Arkansas 10 16 16
California 10 18 18
Colorado 10 18 15
Connecticut 10 16 16
District of Columbia 12 16 16
Delaware 7 16 16
Florida 10 18 18
Georgia 10 14 16
Hawaii 16
Idaho 10 18 18
Illinois 10 16 17
Indiana 12 16 16
Iowa 10 16 16
Kansas 10 18 16
Kentucky 12 16 16
Louisiana 12 18 17
Maine 10 16 16
Maryland 10 16 16
Massachusetts 10 16 16
Michigan 10 16 16
Minnesota 10 18 16
Mississippi 10 18 16
Missouri 12 18 17
Montana 10 18 16
Nebraska 10 18 17
Nevada 12 18 16
New Hampshire 10 16 16
New Jersey 10 16 16
New Mexico 10 16 17
New York 10 18 17
North Carolina 10 16 16
North Dakota 10 18 18
Ohio 10 16 16
Oklahoma 16
Oregon 10 16 18
Pennsylvania 10 16 16
Rhode Island 10 16 16
South Carolina 10 16 16
South Dakota 10 18 16
Tennessee 10 18 18
Texas 10 18 17
Utah 10 18 16
Vermont 10 16 16
Virginia 12 16 18
Washington 12 18 16
West Virginia 12 16 16
Wisconsin 10 16 18
Wyoming 10 16 16



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[1] A Medieval Miscellany By Margaret Wade Labarge page 52
[2]Internet Child Pornography: Causes, Investigation, and Prevention By Richard Wortley, Stephen Smallbon page 10
[3] Sex and Society, Volume 1 page 54
[4] A Guide to America’s Sex Laws by Richard A. Posner & Katharine B. Silbaugh page 44
[5] Sir John Comyns, Stewart Kyd A Digest of the Laws of England, Volume 2, page 73
[6] Opposing Hate Speech By Professor of Sociology Anthony Joseph Paul Cortese page 85
[7] Parental Kidnapping in America: An Historical and Cultural Analysis By Maureen Dabbagh Page 128
[8] Teenage Sex and Pregnancy: Modern Myths, Unsexy Realities By Mike A. Males page 40
[9] What’s Wrong in America: A Look at Troublesome Issues in Our Country By Arthur Siccan
[10] ABA [American Bar Association] Journal Aug 1996 page 87
[11] Not My Kid: What Parents Believe about the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers By Sinikka Elliott page 14-15
[12] American Families Past and Present: Social Perspectives on Transformations by Susan M. Ross page 40
[13] Adolescent Sexuality: A Historical Handbook and Guide by Carolyn Cocca page 15
[14] Encyclopedia of Rape by Merril D. Smith page 40
[15] Prostitution and Sex Work By Melissa Hope Ditmore page xxi [Introduction]
[16] Sexual Crime: A Reference Handbook By Caryn Neumann page 17
[17] Human Sexuality: From Cells to Society, [1st ed.: From Cells to Society] By Martha Rosenthal page 422
[18] The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World by Paula S. Fass page 235
[19] Edward J. Wood, The wedding day in all ages and countries (1869) page 209 – 210
[20] “Age of Consent Laws [Table],” in Children and Youth in History, Item #24, http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/primary-sources/24 (accessed September 7, 2013). Annotated by Stephen Robertson


Animal · Other

Porn Dog : New Police K-9’s Trained To Sniff Out Child Porn

There is a new tool in helping to stop the growing issue of child pornography in our society. Police departments are being given what NBC News refers to as “bloodhounds for the digital age.”

The same way other police dogs can pick up the scent of a fugitive or a stash of weed or cocaine, these new “porn dogs” can smell the components of electronic media, even a micro-card as small as a fingernail that a suspect could easily hide. The specially-trained dogs can smell the adhesive found in electronic storage devices, like thumb drives and SD cards where child porn is often kept hidden.

“[These dogs] have found that there have been storage devices in safes under the slab of somebody’s home. The criminals hide it very well,” said one police officer. “Officers went in and collected things and didn’t find what they were looking for, and that’s when they called in this canine dog to come in and assist and on the second round he found the devices that they were looking for. Porn dog sniffed it out, it worked perfectly.”

(Hans Koepsell, Deseret News)
(Hans Koepsell, Deseret News)

These new dogs have already made a serious impact in enforcing child porn laws. One rambunctious black Labrador named Bear — one of less than 10 dogs in the nation trained to sniff out electronic data devices — played a key role in the arrest of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle on child-porn charges.

The 2-year-old rescue dog located a thumb drive that officers had failed to find during a search of Fogle’s Indiana house last July, several weeks before he agreed to plead guilty to having X-rated images of minors and paying to have sex with teenage girls.

These new dogs have already made a serious impact in enforcing child porn laws. One rambunctious black Labrador named Bear — one of less than 10 dogs in the nation trained to sniff out electronic data devices — played a key role in the arrest of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle on child-porn charges.

Bear has taken part in four other investigations, and he’s just been sold to the Seattle Police Department to help investigate online crimes. Steven DeBrota, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Indianapolis, said when he first heard about Bear’s nose, he was skeptical. “I thought I was being punked, but it does work,” said DeBrota, who was the lead prosecutor on the Fogle case and calls Bear “a key part of the team.”

Nationwide, there are dozens of task forces devoted to child pornography, but the use of “porn dogs” are just now starting to roll out. Less than 10 dogs are known to be active in police departments across the country, including one in Texas and one in Utah named URL (pronounced Earl).



10 things you should know about sexual attraction

What is it that determines who we are sexually attracted to?

This is a surprisingly complex question to answer because attractiveness appears to depend upon a number of factors.

Some of these are biological, others are psychological, and yet others have to do with our social environments.

Below are ten of the most interesting findings scientists have documented when it comes to attraction.

1. We tend to be attracted to people who look like us. For instance, in one study, researchers asked heterosexual men and women to rate the attractiveness of several faces [1]. Included among the photos was a picture of one’s own face that had been digitally morphed into the other sex. Participants found this morphed face to be more attractive than all of the others!

2. This may sound creepy to some of you, but we also seem to be attracted to people who remind us of our parents. For example, research has found that people born to older parents tend to be attracted to older partners as adults.

3. If you’re already physiologically aroused (e.g., from having just exercised) and you meet someone new, you’re more likely to develop an attraction to that person.Why? You may mistakenly attribute the source of your elevated heartbeat to the stranger instead of the true source of your arousal. Learn more about the role of arousal in attraction here.

4. “Beer goggles” really are a thing. Research has found that the drunker people get, the higher the attractiveness ratings they give to strangers. Alcohol also changes how attractive we perceive ourselves. You can learn more about the science of beer goggles here.

5. Playing hard to get seems to work—at least if you’re looking for a long-term relationship. All else equal, less available people are seen as more desirable romantic prospects. However, if you’re looking for casual sex, playing hard to get might backfire.

6. When it comes to pick-up lines, both men and women prefer it when people open with a simply “hi” or “hello,” or lead with an innocuous question (e.g., “Do you want to dance?”). Cutesy and crude pick-up lines (e.g., “Hey, baby. What’s your sign?” or “Do you wash your pants in Windex? I can really see myself in them!”) tend to be seen as pretty undesirable. For more examples of good and bad pick-up lines according to science, see here.

7. Attraction is a multi-sensory process. Who we’re attracted to depends not just on how another person looks, but also how they smell, how their mouth tastes, and so on. Check out this short video for a closer look at the role the senses play in attraction.

8. The things that heterosexual women find attractive in men vary across the menstrual cycle. Specifically, when women are at peak fertility, they tend to be attracted to “manlier” men (e.g., muscular guys with deep voices). Click here to learn more.

9. Heterosexual men tend to find women wearing red clothing more attractive than women wearing any other color [2]. Why? Some theorize that men have evolved a tendency to become aroused by this color because women’s bodies naturally become red/pink during sexual arousal (e.g., many women experience a “sex flush” or reddish rash that appears primarily on the chest during arousal). A recent study suggests that women may subconsciously capitalize on this by dressing in red when they are most fertile.

10. Our patterns of sexual attraction appear to change seasonally. For instance, heterosexual men report greater attraction to women’s bodies and breasts in the winter months than they do in the summer months. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it may be because skin is more of a novelty in the winter when everyone is constantly bundled up. Learn more about this research here.

[1] Penton-Voak, I. S., Perrett, D. I., & Peirce, J. W. (1999). Computer graphic studies of the role of facial similarity in judgements of attractiveness. Current Psychology: A Journal for Diverse Perspectives on Diverse Psychological Issues18, 104-117.

[2] Elliot, A.J., & Niesta, D. (2008). Romantic red: Red enhances men’s attraction to women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1150-1164.

Read the original article on Sex and Psychology. Follow Sex and Psychology on Facebook. Copyright 2016. Follow Sex and Psychology on Twitter.




Masturbation at a Glance

  • Masturbation is commonly defined as touching one’s own body, including sex organs, for sexual pleasure.
  • Masturbation is a common and safe way to get sexual pleasure.
  • Masturbation has many health benefits.

For many of us, masturbation is a taboo topic. There are many harmful myths about masturbation that may cause us to feel uncomfortable about it. These myths can cause guilt, shame, and fear.

Let’s get the facts straight. Masturbation is a natural and common activity for both women and men. Here are some common questions people ask about masturbation. We hope you find the answers helpful.

What Is Masturbation?

Masturbation is commonly defined as touching one’s own body, including sex organs, for sexual pleasure.

There are many slang terms for masturbation, including

  • jacking off
  • jilling off
  • jerking off
  • spanking the monkey
  • double clicking the mouse
  • self-love

Masturbation often ends in orgasm, but not always.

How Common Is Masturbation?

Masturbation is very common. Studies show that about 7 out of 10 adult men and more than 5 out of 10 adult women masturbate. It’s also common for children and teens to masturbate.

When Do People Usually Begin Masturbating?

People may start masturbating at any time in their lives. Many children begin masturbating as they grow and explore their changing bodies. They often discover early that it feels good to touch their genitals. Children usually begin masturbating long before puberty. Young children do not have sexual fantasies while masturbating, but during adolescence it becomes much more sexual.

It’s important for children to learn that masturbating is normal, is not harmful, and will not hurt their bodies. They should also know to seek privacy when masturbating.

If you have children, reading about how to talk with your children about sex may help you have comfortable conversations with them about masturbation.

Why Do People Masturbate?

The most common reasons adults give for masturbating are to

  • relieve sexual tension
  • achieve sexual pleasure
  • have sex when partners are unavailable
  • relax

Many people think that others masturbate only when they do not have a sex partner. But that is not true. In fact, people who have regular sex partners are more likely to masturbate than people without sex partners.

What Are the Benefits of Masturbation?

Masturbation can be good for mental and physical health. People who feel good about their bodies, sex, and masturbation are more likely to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy.

Masturbation is also one of the best ways we can learn about our sexuality. It can help us explore the types of touch we like the most and help us learn how to get excited and how to reach orgasm.

Learning about what feels good to you can increase your chance of feeling sexual pleasure with sex partners. When you know what you like when it comes to sex, your comfort with sex increases. And when your confidence and comfort level are high, it is easier to let your partner know what you like.

Masturbation can enhance our physical, mental, and sexual health and the health of our sexual relationships. Masturbation may

  • create a sense of well-being
  • enhance sex with partners, physically and emotionally
  • help people learn how they like to be touched and stimulated sexually
  • increase the ability to have orgasms
  • improve relationship and sexual satisfaction
  • improve sleep
  • increase self-esteem and improve body image
  • provide sexual pleasure for people without partners, including the elderly
  • provide sexual pleasure for people who choose to abstain from sexual activities with another person
  • provide treatment for sexual dysfunction
  • reduce stress
  • release sexual tension
  • relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension
  • strengthen muscle tone in the pelvic and anal areas, reducing women’s chances of involuntary urine leakage and uterine prolapse

Mutual Masturbation

Masturbation is often thought of as a solo act. However, many people also enjoy mutual masturbation. Mutual masturbation is two or more people masturbating in one another’s presence. In addition to the potential benefits of masturbation listed above, mutual masturbation may

  • be a safe way to explore sexual activity with another person with no risk for pregnancy or STDs (Because partners are not touching each other, there is no risk of infection — and no risk of pregnancy unless semen gets on the vulva.)
  • provide sexual pleasure and intimacy before partners are ready for sex
  • teach people what kind of touch their sex partners like.

Are There Any Risks with Masturbation?

There are no health risks with masturbation. Skin irritation is possible, but using plenty of lubrication will keep that from happening.

If you worry that you masturbate too much, ask yourself this question: Does masturbation interfere with my daily functioning? If it interrupts or gets in the way of your job, your responsibilities, or your social life, you may want to talk with a therapist.

Masturbation and Shame

Many people feel shame or guilt about masturbating. People who receive negative messages about masturbation when they are young often carry feelings of shame into adulthood. Approximately 50 percent of women and 50 percent of men who masturbate feel guilty about it.

Negative feelings about masturbation can threaten our health and well-being. Only you can decide what is healthy and right for you. But if you feel ashamed or guilty about masturbating, talking with a trusted friend, sexuality educator, counselor, and/or clergy member may help.

How Do People Masturbate?

Different people enjoy different things when they masturbate.

  • Women may stimulate all parts of their vulva, or parts of it, including the clitoris, inner or outer labia, the vaginal opening or canal, and/or the perineum or anus. Many women prefer rubbing near — but not on — the clitoris because direct stimulation can be very intense.
  • Men may stimulate the penis, scrotum, perineum, and/or anus.
  • Women and men may also touch other sensitive areas of their bodies. There are nerve endings that can create erogenous zones all over the body and people may experience pleasure by touching places like the breasts, nipples, or thighs.
  • Women and men may also use sex toys like vibrators and dildos during masturbation. Read the directions on your sex toys to learn how to keep them clean and safe.
  • Women and men may use lubricant or lotions to increase pleasure and protect against irritation.
  • Sex fantasies are normal and healthy. Fantasies may add to sexual excitement, either alone or during mutual masturbation. Women and men may fantasize with their own thoughts or with erotic images or language — in print, on video, or online.

Getting to know more about sexual anatomy may help in understanding masturbation.

What Are Some Common Myths About Masturbation?

There are many myths about masturbation. You might have heard it is harmful or leads to strange behavior. The myths are just not true. Here are the facts:


  • does NOT cause hair to grow on the palms of hands or other strange places
  • does NOT lead to blindness
  • does NOT make sex organs shrink or grow or change color, texture, or appearance
  • does NOT stunt growth
  • does NOT cause infertility — men and boys will not run out of sperm
  • is NOT addictive
  • does NOT cause injury or harm
  • does NOT lead to mental illness or instability
  • does NOT make you gay

How big is the average penis?

“I was in the pool!” George Costanza’s distress at the “shrinkage” of his penis after exiting a cold pool was hilarious in the 1994 Seinfeld episode, but for many men concern over the length and girth of their reproductive organ is no laughing matter. Now, a new study could assuage such worries with what may be the most accurate penis-size measurements to date.

Many earlier studies relied on self-reporting, which doesn’t always yield reliable results. “People tend to overestimate themselves,” says David Veale, a psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. So when Veale and his team set out to settle the score on penile proportions, they decided to compile data from clinicians who followed a standardized measuring procedure.

Published today in the British Journal of Urology International, their new study synthesizes data from 17 previous academic papers that included measurements from a total of 15,521 men from around the world. The data enabled the researchers to calculate averages and model the estimated distribution of penile dimensions across humanity. “It still just strikes me how many men have questions and insecurities and concerns about their own penis size. We actually do need good data on it,” says Debra Herbenick, a behavioral scientist at Indiana University, Bloomington, who was not involved in the study.

According to the team’s analysis, the average flaccid, pendulous penis is 9.16 cm (3.61 inches) in length; the average erect penis is 13.12 cm (5.16 inches) long. The corresponding girth measurements are 9.31 cm (3.66 inches) for a flaccid penis and 11.66 cm (4.59 inches) for an erect one.

A graph of the size distribution shows that outliers are rare. A 16-cm (6.3-inch) erect penis falls into the 95th percentile: Out of 100 men, only five would have a penis larger than 16 cm. Conversely, an erect penis measuring 10 cm (3.94 inches) falls into the 5th percentile: Only five out of 100 men would have a penis smaller than 10 cm.

Gentlemen, if you’re eager to see how you measure up, you’ll need to follow the same measurement procedure used in the study. All length measurements were made from the pubic bone to the tip of the glans on the top side of the penis. Any fat covering the pubic bone was compressed before measurement, and any additional length provided by foreskin was not counted. Circumference was measured at the base of the penis or around the middle of the shaft, as the two sites were deemed equivalent.

The researchers concluded that there was no strong evidence to link penis size to other physical features such as height, body mass index, or even shoe size. Yes, it seems that the only definite conclusion that can be drawn about a fellow with big socks is that he probably has big feet. Likewise, the study found no significant correlation between genital dimensions and race or ethnicity, although Veale points out that their study was not designed to probe such associations, because much of the data used were from studies of Caucasian men.

It’s easy to laugh at poor George Costanza for his shrunken manhood, but some reports suggest that only about 55% of men are satisfied with their penis size. Some seek potentially dangerous surgical solutions to a problem that, according to Veale, is often only in their head. Men “seem to have a very distorted picture of what [size] other men are, and what they believe they should be,” Veale says.

Pornography, in which male performers are often selected for their extremely large genitalia, may be partly to blame. Similarly, Herbenick points to the myriad spam e-mails that assert that 17.78 cm (7 inches) is average for an erection, when in reality such a member would place its owner in about the 98th percentile. It’s best to just ignore those ads in any case, Veale says. “There are no effective lotions or potions or pills.”

Origin http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/03/how-big-average-penis



Sexology is the interdisciplinary study of human sexuality, including human sexual interests, behaviors and function.[1] The term sexology does not generally refer to the non-scientific study of sexuality, such as political science or social criticism.[2][3]

In modern sexology, researchers apply tools from several academic fields, such as biologymedicinepsychologyepidemiologysociology and criminology. Sexologists study sexual development (puberty), sexual orientationsexual relationships and sexual activity, as well as document the sexualities of special groups; for example, child sexuality,adolescent sexualitysexuality among the elderly and the disabled. The sexological study of sexual dysfunctions and disorders, including erectile dysfunctionanorgasmia, and pedophilia, are also common.


Sexology as it exists today, as a specific research-based scientific field, is relatively new. While there are works dedicated towards sex in antiquity, the scientific study of sexual behavior in human beings began in the 19th century. Shifts in Europe‘s national borders at that time brought into conflict laws that were sexually liberal and laws that criminalized behaviors such as homosexual activity.


Sexual manuals have existed since antiquity, such as Ovid‘s Ars Amatoria, the Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, the Ananga Ranga and The Perfumed Garden for the Soul’s Recreation. However, none of these treat sex as the subject of a formal field of scientific or medical research.

De la prostitution dans la ville de Paris (Prostitution in the City of Paris), an early 1830’s study on 3,558 registered prostitutes in Paris, published by Alexander Jean Baptiste Parent-Duchatelet (and published in 1837, a year after he died), has been called the first work of modern sex research.[2].

Sexology as an academic discipline

Despite the prevailing social attitude of sexual repression in the Victorian era, the movement towards sexual emancipation began towards the end of the nineteenth century in England and Germany. In 1886, Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing published Psychopathia Sexualis. That work is considered as having established sexology as a scientific discipline.[4]

In England, the founding father of sexology was the doctor and sexologist Havelock Ellis who challenged the sexual taboos of his era regarding masturbation and homosexuality and revolutionized the conception of sex in his time.

His seminal work was the 1897 Sexual Inversion, which describes the sexual relations of homosexual males, including men with boys. Ellis wrote the first objective study of homosexuality, (the term was coined by Kertbeny) as he did not characterize it as a disease, immoral, or a crime. The work assumes that same-sex love transcended age taboos as well as gender taboos. Seven of his twenty-one case studies are of inter-generational relationships. He also developed other important psychological concepts, such as autoerotism and narcissism, both of which were later developed further by Sigmund Freud.[5]

Ellis pioneered transgender phenomena alongside the German Magnus Hirschfeld. He established it as new category that was separate and distinct from homosexuality.[6] Aware of Hirschfeld’s studies of transvestism, but disagreeing with his terminology, in 1913 Ellis proposed the term sexo-aesthetic inversion to describe the phenomenon.[7][8]

In 1908, the first scholarly journal of the field, Journal of Sexology (Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft), began publication and was published monthly for one year. Those issues contained articles by Freud, Alfred Adler, and Wilhelm Stekel.[3] In 1913, the first academic association was founded: the Society for Sexology.[9]

Freud developed a theory of sexuality. These stages of development include: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency and Genital. These stages run from infancy to puberty and onwards.[10] based on his studies of his clients, between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wilhelm Reich and Otto Gross, were disciples of Freud, but rejected by his theories[vague] because of their emphasis on the role of sexuality in the revolutionary struggle for the emancipation of mankind.

Pre-Nazi Germany, under the sexually liberal Napoleonic code, organized and resisted the anti-sexual, Victorian cultural influences. The momentum from those groups led them to coordinate sex research across traditional academic disciplines, bringing Germany to the leadership of sexology. Physician Magnus Hirschfeld was an outspoken advocate for sexual minorities, founding the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, the first advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights.[11]

Hirschfeld also set up the first Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sexology) in Berlin in 1919. Its library housed over 20,000 volumes, 35,000 photographs, a large collection of art and other objects. People from around Europe visited the Institute to gain a clearer understanding of their sexuality and to betreated for their sexual concerns and dysfunctions.

Hirschfeld developed a system which identified numerous actual or hypothetical types of sexual intermediary between heterosexual male and female to represent the potential diversity of human sexuality, and is credited with identifying a group of people that today are referred to as transsexual ortransgender as separate from the categories of homosexuality, he referred to these people as ‘transvestiten’ (transvestites).[12][13] Germany’s dominance in sexual behavior research ended with the Nazi regime.[2] The Institute and its library were destroyed by the Nazis less than three months after they took power, May 8, 1933.[3] The institute was shut down and Hirschfeld’s books were burned.

Other sexologists in the early gay rights movement included Ernst BurchardHans Blüher, and Benedict FriedlaenderErnst Grafenberg, after whom the G-spot is named, published the initial research developing the intrauterine device (IUD).

Postwar Expansion

After World War II, sexology experienced a renaissance, both in the United States and Europe. Large scale studies of sexual behavior, sexual function, and sexual dysfunction gave rise to the development of sex therapy.[3] Post-WWII sexology in the U.S. was influenced by the influx of European refugees escaping the Nazi regime and the popularity of the Kinsey studies. Until that time, American sexology consisted primarily of groups working to end prostitution and to educate youth about sexually transmitted diseases.[2] Alfred Kinsey founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University at Bloomington in 1947. This is now called the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. He wrote in his 1948 book that more was scientifically known about the sexual behavior of farm animals than of humans.[14]

Psychologist and sexologist John Money developed theories on sexual identity and gender identity in the 1950s. His work, notably on the David Reimer case has since been regarded as controversial, even while the case was key to the development of treatment protocols for intersex infants and children.[15][16]

Kurt Freund developed the penile plethysmograph in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. The device was designed to provide an objective measurement of sexual arousal in males and is currently used in the assessment ofpedophilia and hebephilia. This tool has since been used with sex offenders.[17][18]

In 1966 and 1970, Masters and Johnson released their works Human Sexual Response and Human Sexual Inadequacy,respectively. Those volumes sold well, and they were founders of what became known as the Masters & Johnson Institute in 1978.

Vern Bullough was a historian of sexology during this era, as well as being a researcher in the field.[19]

The emergence of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s caused a dramatic shift in sexological research efforts towards understanding and controlling the spread of the disease.[20] Similarly, the emergence of an intersex movement in the late 1990s and 2000s saw the emergence of critical sexology through authors such as Iain Morland and Morgan HolmesLisa DowningIain Morland and Nikki Sullivan critique the work on “hermaphroditism”, “transsexualism” and “paraphilia” by sexologist and psychologist John Money in the 2014 book Fuckology.[21]


Technological advances have permitted sexological questions to be addressed with studies using behavioral genetics,[22]neuroimaging,[23] and large-scale Internet-based surveys.[24] A person who studies sexology may be called a sexpert.[25][26]

Notable Contributors

This is a list of sexologists and notable contributors to the field of sexology, by year of birth:

See Also


  1. “Sexology”. Merriam Webster. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d Bullough, V. L. (1989). The society for the scientific study of sex: A brief history. Mt. Vernon, Iowa: The Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
  3. Jump up to:a b c d Haeberle, E. J. (1983). The birth of sexology: A brief history in documents. World Association for Sexology.
  4. Jump up^ Hoenig, J. (1977). Dramatis personae: Selected biographical sketches of 19th century pioneers in sexology. In J. Money and H. Musaph (Eds.), Handbook of Sexology, (pp. 21-43). Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press.
  5. Jump up^ [1]
  6. Jump up^ Richard Ekins, Dave King, The transgender phenomenon, SAGE, 2006, ISBN 0-7619-7163-7, pp. 61-64
  7. Jump up^ Ellis, Albert. Psychology of Sex.
  8. Jump up^ Jackson, Margaret (1994). The Real Facts Of Life: Feminism And The Politics Of Sexuality C1850-1940. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  9. Jump up^ Kewenig, W. A. (1983, May 22–27). Forward. In E. J. Haeberle, The birth of sexology: A brief history in documents (p. 3). World Association for Sexology.
  10. Jump up^ Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex by Sigmund Freud – Project Gutenberg
  11. Jump up^ Goltz, Dustin (2008). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer movements. In A. Lind & S. Brzuzy (Eds.), Battleground: Women, gender, and sexuality, 2, 291. Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-313-34039-0
  12. Jump up^ Hirschfeld, Magnus (1910), Die Transvestiten. Eine Untersuchung über den erotischen Verkleidungstrieb. Mit umfangreichen casuistischen und historischen, Leipzig: Verlag von Max Spohr (Ferd. Spohr)
  13. Jump up^ Hirschfeld, Magnus (1920), Homosexualitat des Mannes und des Weibes, Berlin
  14. Jump up^ p. 3 of Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior of the human male. New York and Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.
  15. Jump up^ Diamond M, Sigmundson HK (1997). Sex reassignment at birth. Long-term review and clinical implications. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 1997 Mar; 151(3):298–304. PMID 9080940Full text
  16. Jump up^ Diamond, Milton. (2004). ‘Sex, gender, and identity over the years: a changing perspective’, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 13: 591–607. PMID 15183375 Full text
  17. Jump up^ Associated Press (October 26, 1996). Kurt Freund, 82, notable sexologist.
  18. Jump up^ Kuban, Michael (Summer 2004). Sexual Science Mentor: Dr. Kurt Freund. Sexual Science 45.2
  19. Jump up^ Dr. Vern L Bullough – Publications – Vern Bullough
  20. Jump up^ Gagnon, J. (1988). Sex research and sexual conduct in the era of AIDS. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 1,593-601.
  21. Jump up^ Downing, Lisa; Morland, Iain; Sullivan, Nikki (December 2014). Fuckology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.ISBN 9780226186757. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
  22. Jump up^ Mustanski, B.S., Dupree, M. G., Nievergelt, C., Schork, N. J., & Hamer, D. H. (2005). A genomewide linkage scan of male sexual orientation. Human Genetics, 116, 272-278.
  23. Jump up^ Ferretti, A., et al. (2005). Dynamics of male sexual arousal: Distinct components of brain activation revealed by fMRI.NeuroImage, 26, 1086-1096.
  24. Jump up^ Lippa, R. (2007). Guest Editor’s introduction to the BBC special section. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 145-145.
  25. Jump up^ “Oxford Dictionary”http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/sexpert. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  26. Jump up^ “Collins Dictionary”http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/sexpert. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  27. Jump up^ Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality Vol. 1: The Will to Knowledge. London: Penguin (1976/1998)
  28. Jump up^ Humboldt-Universität, Berlin. Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology. Retrieved on November 23, 2007.
  29. Jump up^ Malinowski as “Reluctant Sexologist in Irregular connections, by Andrew Lyons p.155-184 (2004)
  30. Jump up^ The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia Bronislaw Malinowski (1929)(Wikipedia entry on The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia)
  31. Jump up^ McMurry University, Texas Retrieved on July 02, 2009.
  32. Jump up^ “Dr. Vern L Bullough Distinguished Professor Natural and Social Sciences” Retrieved on November 23, 2007.

Origin : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexology (8 March 2015)