Repository logo

Discourses of female masturbation in human sexuality textbooks

Faculty Advisor




masturbation, female sexuality

Abstract (summary)

Many studies show that masturbation is a common and healthy aspect of human functioning (Kontula & Haavio-Mannila, 2002). Despite this, masturbation has been, and continues to be, perceived by society as a sinful, unhealthy, immoral, and/or shameful act (Hare,1962; Kontula & Haavio-Mannila, 2002; Studd & Schwenkhagen, 2009). Female masturbation, in particular, is subject to harsh social criticism and experiences elevated levels of conceived social unacceptability. Female masturbation is demonized within society to such a degree that it is often perceived as inherently unworthy of discussion or consideration (Garlick, 2012; Stolberg, 2000). The purpose of this study is to trace the ways in which female masturbation is discussed in Human Sexuality textbooks. By conducting a content and discourse analysis of 21 Human Sexuality textbooks and encyclopedias, I explore the dominant themes in which female masturbation is represented and discuss the implications of these representations.

Publication Information


Presented on April 26, 2021 at Student Research Day held virtually at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.

Item Type

Undergraduate Thesis




All Rights Reserved