In a survey of Swiss schoolboys (Biener, 1973:p64)[1], 41% declared having learned masturbation by trial, 25% would have learned from friends, 3% had read about it or seen it depicted, 4% learned from adults, 14% did not remember its mode of onset, and 13% claimed never to have given themselves to the practice. Another study[2] informs about the sexual coming of age according to a questionnaire among 16-19-year-olds.

Jarecki (1961a;b)[3] asked 2 groups of 40 mothers in the United States and in Switzerland about stuttering, weaning, masturbation (p350-1), lying, and bedwetting. There were significant differences in attitudes. Swiss mothers placed more stress on heredity and poor upbringing, and were stricter in demanding mature behaviour. Swiss mothers seem to view their children quite early as “little adults”, while American mothers see them as “kids” and allow them to behave like children much longer. The difference on masturbation attitudes, however, is much smaller than the other themes, in fact smallest and nonsignificant. 60.0% of Swiss and 57.1% of American parents described psychic[4] and some 20% in both samples described physical damage as a result of the practice. Some 15% in both samples referred to moral and social laws, and only 5% in both samples did not see any danger.







Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. VolumeI. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Dec 2004


[1] Biener, K. (1973) Jugendsexualität und Präventivmedizin; Brongersma (1987:p129-30), op.cit.

[2]Michaud, P. (1977) Queslques Aspects de la Sexualité des Adolescents de 16 à 19 Ans dans le Canton de Vaud. Thesis, Université de Lausanne

[3] Jarecki, H. G. (1961a) Die Einstellungen von Müttern zu Problemen der Kindererziehung: Eine vergleichende Voruntersuchung, Psychol Ekon Prax [Czechoslovakia] 20:111-35; Jarecki, H. G. (1961b) Maternal attitudes toward child rearing: A cross-cultural pilot study, Arch Gen Psychia 4:340-56

[4] “Dangers of rape; perversions; sex crimes; leads to insane asylum; thinks about it; homosexuality; more susceptible to men who want to take the child with them; weakens loss of sense of shame (sic); can lead to domination by lust; later less satisfaction from spouse; emotional coldness; etc.)”