Q: I’ve been masturbating, not ‘exploring’, since a very young age. At least 3 1/2. Could this be a sign of inappropriate touching when I was younger?

A: I would say that without any other convincing evidence that you may have been molested, excessive masturbation alone does not indicate sexual abuse. Some people are just more sexual than others, even at an early age. Sometimes sexuality is affected by behavioral influences too, such as positive reinforcement. What I mean is that maybe you just discovered at an early age that touching yourself felt good, or soothed you, etc, so you kept doing it.

On the other hand, if you have memories of someone else being involved or encouraging it, or other feelings associated with sexuality or intimate relationships that make you feel uncomfortable or confused, it wouldn’t hurt to talk to a therapist in your area to put your mind at ease.

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Sep 2007

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2007). Could early masturbation mean I was sexually abused?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/09/07/could-early-masturbation-mean-i-was-sexually-abused/

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