Early Childhood Masturbation: A Clinical Study

Hiyam Shamo’on


Objectives: To study the characteristics of masturbation in children below the age of six years and to assess the course and outcome of this condition.
Methods and Materials: A retrospective study of all children diagnosed to have masturbation at the pediatric clinic of Queen Alia Military Hospital over duration of three and half year’s period. A data- collecting sheet was developed which includes information on demographic characteristics, clinical presentations, investigations and modes of treatment. Children with proven urinary tract infection, epilepsy and gastrointestinal disease were excluded from our study.
Results: Fifteen children (6 males and 9 females) were found to have masturbation during the study period. The most common reason for presentation to the clinic was possible urinary tract infection (8=53.3%), abdominal pain (4=26.7%) and possible epileptic seizures (3=20%). The age at first symptom was variable with a mean of 18.5 months. The frequency of the masturbation act varied from 3 times per week to 10 times per day. Only one child had abnormal EEG, four children had extensive investigations. Only one child aged 10 months had home video recording. Twelve patients were treated with behavioral therapy alone. Three female children had in addition to behavioral therapy, local Zylocaine cream at the genital area.
Conclusion: Masturbation is not uncommon in young children and should be included in the differential diagnosis of common pediatric instinct. Home video recording of events may prevent unnecessary investigations and treatments.


Childhood masturbation, Gratification disorders, Satiation disorder.

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