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Could early masturbation mean I was sexually abused?

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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?

Could early masturbation mean I was sexually abused?

Answered by on -

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.

Could early masturbation mean I was sexually abused?

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). Could early masturbation mean I was sexually abused?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/09/07/could-early-masturbation-mean-i-was-sexually-abused/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.