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Can Masturbation Cause a Decrease in Your Height?

Written by
Dr. R. Y. Langham

October 23, 2023

Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Dianne Steven

Many myths and misconceptions are swirling around society when it comes to masturbation most of which have no basis in reality. Some of the most popular and amusing myths are that masturbation causes blindness, hairiness, hair loss, or hairy palms, or that it causes one’s brain to shrink.

None of these myths are true, of course, yet they persist. Why? Because the topic of masturbation is often shrouded in shame, guilt, and secrecy. In other words, it is considered poor etiquette to talk about masturbation around the dinner table, at church, or among friends. It’s just not spoken about. Or, if they are spoken about it is usually in hush-hush voices.

It’s hard to know or even understand the benefits or disadvantages of masturbation because no one wants to talk about it. The truth is there are a lot of pluses and minuses when it comes to “self-pleasuring,” which is essentially what masturbation is – pleasuring oneself. Although the term “masturbation” has a negative connotation, it is not all negative.

In fact, it can be healthy – in moderation and as long as it is bringing you joy and not pain. In this article, we will explore another popular myth surrounding masturbation. Does masturbating actually cause you to shrink in size? In other words, can masturbation cause a decrease in your height? Maybe it does or maybe it doesn’t. In this article, you will learn the truth and put only assumptions to rest.

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What is Masturbation?

Well, the truth is masturbation is simply a way to sexually pleasure oneself. It is a personal choice that involves sexually stimulating one’s genitals or the genitals of a partner through massages, caresses, licking, sucking, using fingers or hands, or sex toys – think vibrators or dildos. The purpose of masturbation is to experience an orgasm or sexual climax – with or without ejaculation if you are a man. Masturbation is supposed to be exciting at the beginning (sexual arousal) and relaxing once sexual climax (orgasm) has been reached. 

Masturbation is supposed to be a stress reliever, painkiller, relaxer, and form of entertainment all rolled up into one. One of the reasons that masturbation is thought to be “naughty” is because in early religions, especially in Christian religions, sex was only deemed “acceptable” if the result was procreation or producing children, and even then it was only “acceptable” if it was between a man and woman. No homosexual sex was allowed (although this was not explicitly expressed in the Bible). It is now a new day and time, where self-pleasuring or masturbation can feel freeing and empowering, regardless of who partakes in it. Still, in many circles, it is still considered “taboo.”

Why Do People Masturbate?

There are many reasons why a person may turn to masturbation with or without porn. People who have a busy work schedule may turn to porn because they have little time to “partner up” with someone else. Physically disabled people may turn to masturbation because it is the only way they can receive sexual satisfaction. People who do not have partners may turn to masturbation as a way to experience orgasms or as a form of entertainment. 

People who are stressed, tense, or in pain may turn to masturbation as a way to escape their problems for a while and “numb their pain.” Lastly, some people turn to masturbation out of loneliness and a need for stimulation. Likewise, people turn to porn for the same reasons – it’s a fantasy, a way to “numb emotional or physical pain,” ease stress and tension, and as an “escape” from problems, especially relationship problems, but also problems at work and self-esteem and self-confidence issues. But, ultimately, the reason people turn to masturbation and porn vary from person to person, and this reason is often highly personal.

Is Masturbation Unhealthy?

No, most times, masturbation is not unhealthy.

However, if masturbating causes distress in your life – in any way, then it is a problem. Excessive or chronic masturbation can become a problem if all you want to do is sit around and masturbate or masturbate to porn. 

In other words, if you start to neglect your tasks – i.e., child-rearing responsibilities, going to work, spending time with your partner, friends, children, and/or family, taking showers or baths, getting dressed, paying bills, eating, exercising, or sleeping in favor of masturbating or watching porn and masturbating, then it is time to seek porn addiction treatment. Because masturbation is often linked to porn use, porn addiction treatments are designed to address chronic or excessive masturbation and chronic or excessive porn use. 

Also, if you start to expect your partner to “perform” like the porn stars in the videos or movies on your screens, then that is a problem, primarily because then your porn and masturbation habits are negatively impacting your relationship. This could make your partner feel inadequate, unloved, and undesirable, leading to relationship conflicts, withdrawal from the relationship, misunderstanding, feelings of betrayal or a disconnect, and eventually a breakup or divorce. 

Masturbation and watching porn can cause a poor body image, especially if you are unable to keep up with the people you see on porn videos or movies, or if you are unable to sexually “perform” during sex with your partner due to porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED). Therefore, it is important to seek porn addiction therapy if you feel like your masturbation and/or porn habits have gotten out of control. Why? Because, by that point, masturbation is unhealthy.

However, when masturbation is practiced in moderation, and/or shared with a partner (it can still be healthy when practiced alone), then it can be quite healthy. For example, masturbation can be relaxing, and stress-relieving. It can even make your cognitive functions, especially memory, sharper, which also goes against the myth that masturbating causes your memory to decline. Masturbation, when practiced in a healthy way, can be a great way to explore your body and learn what you like and do not like in the bedroom. It is only when it gets out of hand (and only you can determine that) that it becomes a problem. 

Is Masturbation “Wrong?”

It depends on who you ask. 

Some people view masturbation as “evil,” “immoral,” “dirty,” or “wrong,” while others view it as “freeing,” “empowering,” and a form of independence. For some, it is a blessing, but for others, it is a curse. Highly religious people, especially Christians, typically view masturbation as “immoral” and “negative,” while non-religious people tend to have the opposite perception, seeing it as “healthy,” “normal,” and “positive.” 

People who are anti-masturbation tend to turn to the Bible as proof that masturbation is “immoral,” although nowhere in the Bible does it state this. These individuals are especially against porn use and masturbating to porn. Opponents of porn use cite the consequences of watching porn as developing a porn addiction, causing affairs, breakups, and divorces, turning away from God, developing a “bad habit,” increasing the risk of child sexual abuse, sexual assaults, and human trafficking, etc. 

Christians tend to view porn use and porn addiction as an “abomination” and defamation of marital unions, etc. Porn addiction is just how it sounds – a dependency on porn. Porn addicts are unable to control their urges to view porn. Porn use resembles the obsessions and compulsions found in people who struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Porn addicts lack control, which is why some view it as “wrong” or “immoral.” Many believe that chronic or excessive masturbators also lack control, which is why some people also view this behavior as “wrong” or “immoral.”

On the other hand, people who are pro-masturbating typically point out the benefits of masturbating, such as better sleep, more orgasms, a more positive mood, improved memory, etc. So, is masturbation “wrong?” It is all about what you believe and how you perceive it whether it is “right” or “wrong.”

Can Masturbation Cause a Decrease in Your Height?

No, it cannot. 

Experts have found that masturbation cannot cause a person to “shrink in size,” or become shorter. More specifically, masturbation does not interfere with a person’s growth hormones in any way. Therefore, the myth that masturbation stunts growth or causes a decrease in one’s height is just that – a myth that is untrue. 

Masturbation also cannot cause your height to increase. In males, height comes from testosterone released during puberty. There is little-to-no evidence that masturbating influences or interferes with testosterone production or release, so it is reasonable to assume that masturbating, even excessively, will not help you grow taller.

What Do People Who Masturbate Say About It Affecting Height?

Listed below are the thoughts and views of people who regularly masturbate with or without porn.

  • “Although there’s no scientific evidence that supports this, there isn’t any evidence that’s against either. I feel a little shorter after masturbating. So, I feel like my addiction to masturbating to porn may be indirectly affecting me and possibly reducing my height. I know it sounds insane but that’s just how I feel. I ‘jerk off’ a lot and the last time I went to the doctor I was ½ inch shorter. It could be related to masturbation since that is what is consuming my life right now.”
  • “I am pretty sure masturbating has nothing to do with testosterone as another commenter indicated, but I grew 2 inches. There are many who experienced the same, some of them rationalizing that it must be related to posture changes and/or spinal alignment, however, I think that my legs and fingers grew a bit as well, but I am not 100% sure…”
  • “Does fapping have any sort of effect on your height? Someone said that masturbating can have some effect on your height. However, I read online that it does not have any effect on your height. I’m really confused about that…
  • “Honestly, If masturbation made you shorter I’d be the shortest person posting on this thread. I’m not so there you go. I’m the same height I’ve been for the past 10 years. So, no masturbating is not going to make you shrink into an ant.”

How is Excessive or Chronic Masturbation and Porn Addiction Treated?

Well, excessive or chronic masturbation and porn addiction typically occur together, which means they are usually treated together. The most common treatment is porn addiction therapy, which may involve cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). 

If other comorbidities (i.e., porn addiction and drug addiction, etc.) occur with excessive or chronic masturbation or porn addiction, these are also addressed with individualized therapies, such as substance abuse counseling, couples counseling, marriage and family therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, or porn addiction support groups

When porn addiction therapy is ineffective alone, medications may be added to the porn addiction treatment plan, such as antidepressants or antipsychotics for people who are struggling with excessive or chronic masturbation, porn addiction, and anxiety or depression. Medications can help balance out the chemicals in the brain responsible for mood, thoughts, motivation, and behavior. 

Natural remedies like CBD, vitamins, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep, along with self-help tools like anti-porn software for your devices, mindfulness meditation, hypnosis, porn addiction apps and books, NoFap trackers, and porn addiction recovery treatment programs, like Stop Together, can also help get your excessive or chronic masturbation and porn addiction habits under control. 

With the right treatment, you will stop watching porn, stop masturbating excessively, and embrace your height and health for what they are – an important part of who YOU are! In other words, with porn addiction help you can stop worrying about your health and start focusing on reaching your dreams!


  • Soliman, A. T., Khadir, M. M., & Asfour, M. (1995). Testosterone treatment in adolescent boys with constitutional delay of growth and development. Metabolism: Clinical and experimental, 44(8), 1013–1015. Retrieved from
  • de Lima, T.E.O., Dissenha, R.P., Skare, T.L. et al. (2022). Masturbatory behavior and body image: A study among Brazilian women. Sexuality & Culture 26, 474–490 (2022). Retrieved from
  • Isenmann, E., Schumann, M., Notbohm, H. L., Flenker, U., & Zimmer, P. (2021). Hormonal response after masturbation in young healthy men – A randomized controlled cross-over pilot study. Basic and Clinical Andrology, 31(1), 32. Retrieved from
  • Fischer, N., & Træen, B. A. (2022). Seemingly paradoxical relationship between masturbation frequency and sexual satisfaction. Arch Sex Behavior, 51, 3151–3167. Retrieved from
  • Dwulit, A. D., & Rzymski, P. (2019). The potential associations of pornography use with sexual dysfunctions: An integrative literature review of observational studies. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8(7), 914. Retrieved from

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