Although masturbation is used less frequently by married than by unmarried people, it continues to be an outlet for many. Among Kinsey’s married males between the ages of twenty-six and thirty-five, almost half masturbated occasionally, along with about one-third of the female sample in that age range. Hunt found about 72% of his married male sample in that age range still masturbating, along with two-thirds of the wives, a quite remarkable increase.

Consistent with Hunt’s data, the Redbook study found 68% of their sample, all married women, masturbating often or occasionally. Reasons given included husband absent (38%), relaxation of tensions (31%), and enjoyable addition to intercourse (31%).

A recent Danish study (Hessellund) of thirty-eight couples married a mean of years found that 60% of the men and 37% of the women masturbated at least occasionally. Analysis of the relationship between intercourse masturbation for this sample led the authors to conclude that, since intercourse frequency was determined by the wife and was generally not more than twice a week, masturbation functioned as a supplement to the sexual activity of the men and as a substitute for the women.

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