Childhood Masturbation: A Case Report and Literature Review for Treatment

Ade Febrina Lestari(1*), Mei Neni Sitaresmi(2), Firda Ridhayani(3)

(1) Child Health Department of Medical, Nursing and Community Health Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
(2) Child Health Department, Academic Hospital of Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
(3) Master of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
(*) Corresponding Author


Background: Masturbation is normal sexual behavior. However, masturbation in childhood is rarely discussed in the research. Childhood masturbation or gratification disorder, is characterized by self-stimulation of genitalia in prepubescent children. However, childhood masturbation often stops if the child is distracted, and spontaneous recovery within two years in most cases Generally, no drug therapy is required for childhood masturbation unless it is very frequent or excessive and it affects the daily functionality of the child. Regarding the treatment of childhood masturbation, we highlight the fact that evidence-based therapy for childhood masturbation is lacking due to unclear standard guidelines on it. We need a path of therapy that can help doctors in the management of childhood masturbation. Case: Here we reported two cases of excessive childhood masturbation from a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old female patient who were brought by their mother to the outpatient clinic pediatric, Academic Hospital, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, with a complaint of stretching by flexing the legs and rubbing on her genital part Risperidone as one of the drug therapies for this case and present a good outcome. Additionally, this article also provides literature reviews on childhood masturbation treatment that may guide clinicians in its evaluation and management. Conclusion:  We conclude that behavioral treatment is the common strategy for childhood masturbation.  The treatment, as well as behavioral and drug therapeutic strategies, should be considered to achieve an effective outcome.


Childhood masturbation; excessive childhood masturbation; treatment; risperidone; behavioral

Full Text:



Doust ZK, Shariat M, Zabandan N, Tabrizi A, Tehrani F. Diagnostic Value of the Urine Mucus Test in Childhood Masturbation among Children below 12 Years of Age: A Cross-Sectional Study from Iran. Iran J Med Sci. 2016 Jul;41(4):283–7. 2. Ajlouni HK, Daoud AS, Ajlouni SF, Ajlouni KM. Infantile and early childhood masturbation: Sex hormones and clinical profile. Ann Saudi Med. 2010;30(6):471–4/. 3. Leung AKC, Robson LM. Childhood Masturbation. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1993 Apr 1;32(4):238–41. 4. Tashakori A, Safavi A, Neamatpour S. Lessons learned from the study of masturbation and its comorbidity with psychiatric disorders in children: The first analytic study. Electron Physician. 2017 Apr;9(4):4096–100. 5. Nechay A, Ross L, Stephenson J, O’Regan M. Gratification disorder (“infantile masturbation”): a review. Arch Dis Child. 2004 Mar;89(3):225–6. 6. Omranifard V. Risperidone as a treatment for childhood habitual behavior - PubMed. J Res Pharm Pract. 2013;2(1):29–33. 7. Izadi-Mazidi M. Pathological Childhood Masturbation in Children Who Referred to a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic. Journal of Comprehensive Pediatrics [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2023 Jan 20];11(3). Available from: 8. Wilkinson B, John RM. Understanding Masturbation in the Pediatric Patient. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 2018 Nov 1;32(6):639–43. 9. Hansen JK, Balslev T. Hand activities in infantile masturbation: A video analysis of 13 cases. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology. 2009 Nov 1;13(6):508–10. 10. Yang ML, Fullwood E, Goldstein J, Mink JW. Masturbation in Infancy and Early Childhood Presenting as a Movement Disorder: 12 Cases and a Review of the Literature. Pediatrics. 2005 Dec 1;116(6):1427–32. 11. Casteels K. Video reveals self‐stimulation in infancy. Acta Paediatr. 93:844–6. 12. Fleisher DR, Morrison A. Masturbation mimicking abdominal pain or seizures in young girls. The Journal of Pediatrics. 1990 May 1;116(5):810–4. . 13. Mink JW, Neil JJ. Masturbation mimicking paroxysmal dystonia or dyskinesia in a young girl. Movement Disorders. 1995;10(4):518–20. 14. McLay L, Carnett A, Tyler-Merrick G, van der Meer L. A Systematic Review of Interventions for Inappropriate Sexual Behavior of Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities. Rev J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Dec 1;2(4):357–73. 15. The American Psychiatric Association’s. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5TM, 5th ed. Arlington, VA, US: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.; 2013. xliv, 947 p. (Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5TM, 5th ed). 16. World Health Organization. The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines [Internet]. 1992 [cited 2023 Jan 20]. Available from: 17. Mallants C, Casteels K. Practical approach to childhood masturbation—a review. Eur J Pediatr. 2008 Oct 1;167(10):1111–7. 18. Heiman ML, Leiblum S, Cohen Esquilin S, Melendez Pallitto L. A Comparative Survey of Beliefs About “Normal” Childhood Sexual Behaviors. Child Abuse & Neglect. 1998 Apr 1;22(4):289–304. 19. Friedrich WN, Fisher J, Broughton D, Houston M, Shafran CR. Normative sexual behavior in children: a contemporary sample. Pediatrics. 1998 Apr;101(4):E9. 20. Nguyen M, Murphy T. MIRTAZAPINE FOR EXCESSIVE MASTURBATION IN AN ADOLESCENT WITH AUTISM. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2001 Aug 1;40(8):868–9. 21. Kul M, Baykan H, Kandemir H. A Case of Excessive Masturbation Treated with Aripiprazole. Bulletin of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2013 Jan 1;24:1. 22. Coskun M. Effectiveness of Mirtazapine in the Treatment of Inappropriate Sexual Behaviors in Individuals with Autistic Disorder. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2009;19(2):203–65. 23. Sabri H. Excessive masturbation in children and adolescents with autistic disorder: efficacy of escitalopram in three cases. Alpha Psychiatry [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2023 Jan 20];10. 24. Albertini G, Polito E, Sarà M, Di Gennaro G, Onorati P. Compulsive Masturbation in Infantile Autism Treated by Mirtazapine. Pediatric Neurology. 2006 May 1;34(5):417–8. 25. Arafat SMY, Khan ST. Childhood Masturbation: A Case Report from Bangladesh. Journal of Psychosexual Health. 2019 Jul 1;1(3–4):280–2.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 1244 | views : 277 | views : 428


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2024 Academic Hospital Journal

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Currently, Academic Hospital Journal indexed by:





View My Stats

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License