Sex-positive journalist Nadia Bokody believes girls as young as 11 should be learning about masturbation.
Citing research that has found less than half of adolescent girls aged between 14 and 17 have masturbated, Bokody says that the fact teenagers are more comfortable “having intercourse with another person than they are with exploring their own bodies alone… is deeply problematic”.
Speaking to Mamamia, Bokody said, “11 is the age most kids begin sex education in school… Research shows one in four teens will be pregnant before they 20, and of the 20 million-odd cases of STDs every year, around half of those involves teens.
“Meanwhile, masturbation is a totally safe, risk-free activity kids can practice alone without concerns about these consequences.”
In 2017, research was published that found a significant ‘orgasm gap‘ between men and women. According to the study, 95 per cent of straight men always orgasm through intercourse, whereas only 65 per cent of women always climax during sex. That statistic drops in the case of casual hook ups, with only 40 per cent of women experiencing orgasm.
So – some experts pondered – how are we to close that gap, if women don’t know what it is that gets them off?
Perhaps part of women’s detachment from their own bodies comes from what Bokody refers to as the ‘mystery’ that surrounds their ‘private parts’.
“Boys are raised to recognise and label their own genitals,” she told Mamamia. Simply, girls are not.