Masturbation can help reduce stress, relieve menstrual cramps for women — and, of course, release sexual tension.
Despite many students living in close quarters with their peers in 170-square-foot dorms, our survey shows that 28 percent of respondents masturbate two-plus times a week. Of the 288 students who said they masturbate two-plus times a week, 43 percent identify as female and 55 percent identify as male.
Overall, the sex survey had 995 respondents, 572 of whom identified solely as female and 397 identified solely as male. Twenty-six of the respondents identified as transgender, agender, nonbinary or gender-fluid.
While the majority of respondents identified as female, male respondents are masturbating more frequently.
Of the 178 respondents who said they masturbate everyday, 132 of them identify as male, 40 as female and nine as agender, nonbinary or gender-fluid.
This disparity between men and women can also be seen in other responses. For example, women make up the majority of respondents who said they never masturbate. Just over 10 percent of all respondents said that they never masturbate, 90 percent of whom identified as female. This means that 15.9 percent of all female respondents never masturbate, as opposed to two percent of male respondents who said they never masturbate.
This gap is not too surprising when compared with other surveys, including Indiana University’s National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. According to that survey, 20.8 percent of those who identified as male between the ages of 18 and 24 said they masturbated two to three times a week, while only 7.3 percent of women in the same age range masturbated the same number of times per week.
Despite the gaps, of the 328 respondents on Pipe Dream’s survey who said their sex drive was a five on a scale of one to five, the amount of female respondents and male respondents was close, with 51.5 percent and 46.6 percent, respectively.
The overall average for respondents’ sex drives was 3.9, compared to 3.7 for respondents that never masturbate. However, in both cases, the most common option chosen was four.
Many women who said they never masturbate said that it’s either uncomfortable or not pleasurable, while male respondents who never masturbate cited that it goes against their religious beliefs or they find it boring.
Other reasons for not masturbating or masturbating infrequently included having other ways of achieving sexual pleasure with a consistent sex partner or a lack of privacy from living in a dorm.
When looking at how respondents first found out about masturbation, many people learned from their friends or through their own self-exploration and discovery from various ages. Other people attributed their discovery to the internet, curiosity and, as one male respondent put it, “Have you been to middle school?”