Menu Close

Adolescent Males’ Willingness to Report Masturbation


Halpern, Carolyn Tucker; Udry, J. Richard; Suchindran, Chirayath M.; & Campbell, Benjamin C. (2000). Adolescent Males' Willingness to Report Masturbation. The Journal of Sex Research, 37(4), 327-332.


This paper compares contemporaneous and retrospective reports of adolescent masturbation experience, partnered sexual behavior, and nonsexual problem behavior. Analyses are based on data from 59 White males who were followed for 3 years in early adolescence and later reinterviewed as young adults. Comparisons of adolescent and adult reports about adolescent behavior indicated that adolescent masturbation, but not coitus and wet dreams, was more likely to be reported in young adulthood than in adolescence, even when confidential reporting techniques were used. In contrast, nonsexual problem behavior occurring during adolescence was more likely to be reported in adolescence than in early adulthood. These findings are consistent with other literature indicating that masturbation is a distinctly sensitive behavior that adolescent respondents may be particularly reluctant to report. These results suggest that adult retrospective reports may more accurately represent adolescent masturbation activity, but may underrepresent adolescent nonsexual problem behavior.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

The Journal of Sex Research


Halpern, Carolyn Tucker
Udry, J. Richard
Suchindran, Chirayath M.
Campbell, Benjamin C.