I am interested in knowing.

  1. Does masturbation (once daily) affect the brain negatively in terms of: Memory and concentration skills during the long term ?

  2. Does it affect it in the short term?

  3. After masturbation I feel some change in my brain, although hard to describe but something like a dopamine rush. Any negative impacts of this on brain?

  • $\begingroup$ according to my experience masturbation is very bad habit. it disturbs a teenager in doing there daily works. it also negative side effects on brain(memory loss, loss of concentration). $\endgroup$
    – user9260
    Sep 7 '15 at 12:25
  • $\begingroup$ @rituraj Do you have any evidence that proves memory loss, loss of concentration ? $\endgroup$
    – New one
    Sep 24 '15 at 16:32

As the Wikipedia article on Masturbation summarizes, the current consensus among scientists is that masturbation has no negative effects whatsoever, and that all known positive effects are physiological (e.g. reduction of the probability to have prostrate cancer in men over 50) or on the level of general well-being (e.g. it relieves depression and leads to higher self-esteem).

A quick Google Scholar search turned up no results for studies into the relation between masturbation and cognitive functions such as memory, attention etc. This does not mean that masturbation does not affect these functions, positively or negatively, only that apparently this has not been studied.

Sexual stimulation and orgasm activate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a production of sex specific sex hormones as well as neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin, which in turn affect the relevant neurotransmitter systems.

Too much masturbation may lead to loss of libido (psychological) and loss of sensitivity (physiological), though what is too much will differ between idividuals. Certainly during adolescence most teenagers indulge in extensive sexual self-exploration with no apparent negative consequences.

As Archimedix pointed out, one study found that frequent masturbation in male teenagers correlated with higher probability of prostrate cancer. But the researchers surmised that it is not the masturbation that causes the hormones that cause the cancer, but rather the hormones cause both the higher sex drive and the cancer. So again masturbation appears not to have a negative effect, and not masturbating would not have prevented cancer, but the causation is all speculation either way. (http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/news/20090127/masturbation-and-prostate-cancer-risk).

Rather, the common consensus among sexologists is to encourage teens and even children to actively exlore this area. For example, the European Regional Bureau of the WHO suggests that masturbation can help an individual better understand their sexual needs and boundaries, communicate more clearly in a sexual situation, and avoid being abused (http://www.bzga.de/infomaterialien/einzelpublikationen/?idx=2042, in German).

Like any activity, for example excessive working, masturbation can become problematic. But like work, masturbation is not problematic in and of itself.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @CogHero, Speaking as a man who survived adolescence with minimal damage, I think you're going to be just fine. $\endgroup$ Feb 14 '15 at 15:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @blz I don't understand: Why did you stop it when the adolescence was over? $\endgroup$
    – Red Banana
    Feb 14 '15 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Vÿska Because that is what happens to most people: the novelty of sex, that started with puberty, begins to wear off, your mind clears of the confusions of adolescence, and you become able to take interest in other things than exploring your sexuality. $\endgroup$
    – user3116
    Feb 14 '15 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ @CogHero, I was mostly being cheeky (and trying to be reassuring). My point is simply that nothing you describe strikes me as abnormal. what is also correct, bearing in mind that individuals may vary. It's not pathological for it to continue past adolescence. $\endgroup$ Feb 15 '15 at 15:19

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.