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  #1  
Unread 28th December 2005, 02:34 PM
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Conservative christian leader James Dobson of Focus on the Family: Masturbation is OK

Masturbation Dr. Dobson Answers Your Questions

Q. My 13-year-old son is in the full bloom of adolescence. I’m suspicious that he may be masturbating when he’s alone, but I don’t quite know how to approach him about it. Should I be concerned, and if so, what should I say to him? There is no scientific evidence to indicate that this act is harmful to the body.



A. I don’t think you should invade that private world at all unless there are unique circumstances that lead you to do so. I offer that advice while acknowledging that masturbation is a highly controversial subject and Christian leaders differ widely in their perspectives on it. I will answer your question but hope you understand that some Bible scholars and ministers will disagree emphatically with what I will say.

First, let’s consider masturbation from a medical perspective. We can say without fear of contradiction that there is no scientific evidence to indicate that this act is harmful to the body. Despite terrifying warnings given to young people historically, it does not cause blindness, weakness, mental retardation or any other physical problem. If it did, the entire male population and about half of females would be blind, weak, simpleminded and sick. Between 95 and 98 percent of all boys engage in this practice — and the rest have been known to lie. It is as close to being a universal behavior as is likely to occur. A lesser but still significant percentage of girls also engage in what was once called “self-gratification,” or worse, “self-abuse.”

As for the emotional consequences of masturbation, only four circumstances should give us cause for concern. The first is when it is associated with oppressive guilt from which the individual can’t escape. That guilt has the potential to do considerable psychological and spiritual damage. Boys and girls who labor under divine condemnation can gradually become convinced that even God couldn’t love them. They promise a thousand times with great sincerity never again to commit this “despicable” act. Then a week or two passes, or perhaps several months.

Eventually, the hormonal pressure accumulates until nearly every waking moment reverberates with sexual desire. Finally, in a moment (and I do mean a moment) of weakness, it happens again. What then, dear friend? Tell me what a young person says to God after he or she has just broken the one thousandth solemn promise to Him? I am convinced that some teenagers have thrown over their faith because of their inability to please God on this point.

The second circumstance in which masturbation might have harmful implications is when it becomes extremely obsessive. That is more likely to occur when it has been understood by the individual to be “forbidden fruit.” I believe the best way to prevent that kind of obsessive response is for adults not to emphasize or condemn it. Regardless of what you do, you will not stop the practice of masturbation in your teenagers. That is a certainty. You’ll just drive it underground — or under covers. Nothing works as a “cure.” Cold showers, lots of exercise, many activities and awesome threats are ineffective. Attempting to suppress this act is one campaign that is destined to fail — so why wage it?

The third situation around which we should be concerned is when the young person becomes addicted to pornographic material. The kind of obscenity available to teenagers today has the capacity to grab and hold a boy for the rest of his life. Parents will want to intervene if there is evidence that their son or daughter is heading down that well-worn path. I will discuss that danger in a subsequent chapter.

The fourth concern about masturbation refers not to adolescents but to us as adults. This habit has the capacity to follow us into marriage and become a substitution for healthy sexual relations between a husband and wife. This, I believe, is what the apostle Paul meant when he instructed us not to deprive or “defraud” one another as marital partners. The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:5).

As for the spiritual implications of masturbation, I will have to defer to the theologians for a more definitive response. It is interesting to me, however, that Scripture does not address this subject except for a single reference in the Old Testament to a man named Onan. He interrupted sexual intercourse with his sister-in-law and allowed his semen to fall on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother, which was his “duty” (Genesis 38:8-9). Although that verse is often cited as evidence of God’s disapproval of masturbation, the context doesn’t seem to fit.

What should you as a father say to your 13-year-old son about this subject? My advice is to say nothing after puberty has occurred. You will only cause embarrassment and discomfort. For those who are younger, it would be wise to include the subject of masturbation in the “Preparing for Adolescence” conversation I have recommended on other occasions. I would suggest that parents talk to their 12- or 13-year-old boys, especially, in the same general way my mother and father discussed this subject with me.

We were riding in the car, and my dad said, “Jim, when I was a boy, I worried so much about masturbation. It really became a scary thing for me because I thought God was condemning me for what I couldn’t help. So I’m telling you now that I hope you don’t feel the need to engage in this act when you reach the teen years, but if you do, you shouldn’t be too concerned about it. I don’t believe it has much to do with your relationship with God.”

What a compassionate thing my father did for me that night in the car. He was a very conservative minister who never compromised his standards of morality to the day of his death. He stood like a rock for biblical principles and commandments. Yet he cared enough about me to lift from my shoulders the burden of guilt that nearly destroyed some of my friends in the church. This kind of “reasonable” faith taught to me by my parents is one of the primary reasons I never felt it necessary to rebel against parental authority or defy God.

Those are my views, for what they are worth. I know my recommendations will be inflammatory to some people. If you are one of them, please forgive me. I can only offer the best advice of which I’m capable. I pray that in this instance I am right.

— Dr. James Dobson

This article was adapted from Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide by Dr. James Dobson with the permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Copyright 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

http://www.focusonyourchild.com/deve.../A0000553.html

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Last edited by Bill777; 28th December 2005 at 02:48 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 28th December 2005, 02:38 PM
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Now from a theology perspective I believe Dr. Dobson is correct. The bible does neither encourage nor condemn masturbation, the bible is simply silent about it. I believe that we as christians should do the same, never encouraging it but never condemning it. Doing anything different would be unbiblical, and we would be relying on our own understanding and the wisdom of man. I prefer the wisdom of God over the wisdom of man any time of the day. And if God never encouraged nor discouraged christians from practicing masturbation, neither should christian leaders encourage nor show any condemnation of the practice of masturbation.
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Unread 28th December 2005, 02:43 PM
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That was an excellent essay by Dr. Dobson. I believe that he addressed some of the principal dangers of masturbation (e.g. masturbation combined with pornography addiction, masturbation as a substitute for mature sexual activity with a spouse) while presenting a balanced view of this activity when practiced by young adolescents at a particular stage of their development.
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Unread 28th December 2005, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill777
Now from a theology perspective I believe Dr. Dobson is correct. The bible does neither encourage nor condemn masturbation, the bible is simply silent about it. I believe that we as christians should do the same, never encouraging it but never condemning it.
Wow that was a long read.

This was a pretty good assessment as far as I'm concerned. I thought he answered his patient's/client's question with integrity, sincerity and more importantly tackled the issue. At no time did I see Dr. Dobson glamourize masturtbation, in fact he brought up some potential problems that could incur and several issues that surround it. I see no reason why someone should get "infammed" over it.
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Unread 28th December 2005, 02:47 PM
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Masturbation is a result of lust. Let Christ control it.
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Unread 28th December 2005, 02:55 PM
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I think his answer sounds fine.

edited to add: I really admire Dr. Dobson. I don't necessarily agree with his position on spanking but that has been the only area I've disagreed and that is certainly a 'disputable matter'. I know when I was recovering from some bad theology I was raised believing, I was in contact with people from his ministry and Billy Grahams and I will be forever grateful for their help and comfort.
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Unread 28th December 2005, 03:16 PM
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This is what happens when modern evangelicalism acquiesces to pagan psychology. Is there any manner of sin we will not commit if we can just find some way to justify it to ourselves? I agree with jckstraw. Let Christ control it.
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  #8  
Unread 28th December 2005, 03:31 PM
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The trouble I have with masturbation is that it is a cause for shame. It's not something that is easily looked upon or accepted. The world may well deem this politically correct, but if a teenager admits it to someone then he/she is in for some form of ridicule. There is always some form of resistance in the brain telling you that it's not right otherwise the stigma of shame wouldn't apply. This desire to keep the act "secret" is 1. God warning you that it isn't acceptable or 2. Satan telling you that the act is acceptable. Understandable in this day and age of "enlightenment and political correctness", that there should be defenders of this act, because in this day and age every act needs defending from someone elses beliefs. Wading through the quagmire of different beliefs and opinions is the greatest trick of the evil one. A way to deflect attention away from the real issues that need to be toppled. God gave each of us our own inherent guidance system to allow us to navigate the worlds troubled water, especially when topics like this, or abortion or birth control arise. Keep focused on our lord and the spirit and what it takes to make it to our promised land. Remember that in the day and age that he walked with us many of these issues weren't on the radar. Not to say that there isn't relevance in the bible for this age, but if the only passage in the bible is about Onan spilling his seed, why take the chance that someones erroneous interpretation of this passage could lead you away from Gods true intent. I'd play it safe and say that spilling of the seed regardless of the circumstance may lead you astray and therefore not spill. Is his kingdom not worth the extra effort on your part to ignore these impulses?
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Unread 28th December 2005, 03:33 PM
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Thumbs up to Dr. Dobson for having the guts to stand up to the sex-loathing element of Christianity and affirm that this is part of normal development and has to be evaluated situationally as to whether it should be considered problematic, state that associating this with unwarranted guilt is faith-destroying, and point out that it is not condemned specifically in the Bible.

I don't agree with him on much but he is dead right on this.
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Unread 28th December 2005, 03:35 PM
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If its such a necessary part of development and its healthy and all that, then i can assume that Christ masturbated, correct?
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