“How Masturbation Prevents Eboli And Why People Fear It”

Eboli can live in sperm months after recovery from infection, whether you believe it’s morally wrong or not. The World Health Organization issued a warning to male Ebola survivors to abstain from sex for three months after four research studies found that the virus lives on in semen even its host has been cured. To combat the spread of disease, doctors in Africa are encouraging masturbation. Just how much this plays into God’s plan for the human race is up for debate.

Doctors recommending masturbation in Africa to prevent the spread of Eboli harkens back to a time when former United States Surgeon General, Doctor Joycelyn Elders, suggested that educators teach students about masturbation as a healthy alternative to sex. For her suggestion on World Aids Day, then President Clinton, pressured by a religious conservative right wing insisted upon her resignation.

These more sexually conservative folks think masturbation is morally wrong and is a perversion of the real purpose of sex. By their reasoning, people should not masturbate because it goes against God’s plan that we use sex to procreate and keep the human race alive and well populated. The belief that masturbation goes against God’s will because it does not lead to procreation is challenged by the fact that masturbation is the most convenient, popular way to extract sperm for artificial insemination.

The moral argument against masturbation goes deeper than procreation; it has to do with lust. Many religious folks view masturbation as a convenient conduit for lustful thoughts. (e.g. thinking about cheating on ones wife while masturbating is a sin). By this reasoning, any person who has a lustful thought, even while having intercourse with their spouse, is sinning.

Studies show that lust is a natural part of the attraction and mating process designed to lead to procreation. Are we then to be expected to control our lustful thoughts beyond censoring our actions? Trying to control one’s lustful thoughts could lead to self-loathing, depression, and anxiety, which can create harm both psychologically and physically.

The fear of masturbation may have been more of a concern at a time when there were more prominent forces threatening the extinction of the human race, from starvation to plague. Religion has done much to shape medical prejudice against masturbation as well in an effort to protect the population of believers. Many of these medical myths and misconceptions – it will make you go blind, it will make you go mad – were originally fabricated to keep people from masturbating, very likely in an effort to keep the number of religious followers growing. Today, the human race is well populated, thanks in part to farming and modern medicine. Given the recent Eboli crisis and the warning of doctors, masturbation could play a hand in keeping things that way.

Written by Nicholas Tana writer/director Sticky: A Documentary on Masturbation. http://www.stickythemovie.com


“Shame Over Sex Kills Kids”

On August 13th., parent’s from the Fremont California school district are gathering in an effort to devise a plan to remove a sex education book from the curriculum. The petitioning parents claim that the Fremont community’s cultural values were ignored when Fremont Unified School District Board Members voted to approve 9th grade Health text, “Your Health Today.” The petition says that the book, which teaches about masturbation, sex toys, sexual fantasies, fetish and bondage, exposes youth to extremely inappropriate material for 13 and 14 year-old youth.

The Fremont parents’ petition takes place several months after the Burdette family filed a claim against the San Diego Unified School District. The family is seeking damages in excess of $1 million after their 14 year-old son, Matthew Burdette, took his life when a video of him allegedly masturbating in his high school, went viral. The shame Mathew Burdette felt over the incident lead to him losing friends. His suicide note claimed this was the reason that he ended his life.

The ghost of Burdette looms a decade after former Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, was forced to resign for suggesting on World Aids Day in 1994 that we teach masturbation as a healthy alternative to sex. It is no wonder that the United States suffers higher rates of STDs and teen pregnancies than any other modern nation. The Florida Department of Health reported that AIDS-related illnesses are the 7th leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15–19.

The best way to protect our children is to talk openly and without shame about sex. If one person had said to poor Matthew that touching himself for pleasure was fine, that we all do it, that it’s really no big deal, maybe this lonely, scared, and tortured young man would likely still be with us today. We should be applauding and supporting the teachers in Fremont who agreed to replace an outdated ten-year-old textbook, with a new one. Instead the petition to remove the book has already gathered thousands of signatures from parent’s that want go back to the old book thinking that it is adequate. But we continue to fail when it comes to taking sex education seriously.

Let’s consider the death of Matthew Burdette before we decide to go pulling books on sex education from the curriculum. The many jokes about sex and masturbation are a testament to our inability to take something that makes us uncomfortable, seriously. But the sex education of kids today is a serious matter. Especially, in a world where the Internet is exposing our kids to sex whether we like it or not. If we fail to use Matthew’s suicide as an opportunity to talk candidly and without shame about erotic self pleasure, sex, fantasy, sex toys – things kids will come to discover anyway, and likely from less educated sources – we will continue to live in a world where a child would choose suicide over being caught masturbating. And that’s not funny at all.

Written by Nicholas Tana writer/director Sticky: A Documentary on Masturbation. http://www.stickythemovie.com