Jehovah’s Witnesses have published numerous statements that link masturbation and homosexuality. In some articles, they teach that masturbation leads to homosexuality. Additionally, they link masturbation with mental illness, stating that “mentally deranged people are notorious masturbators” and “mentally disturbed priests and nuns are chronic masturbators.”
Let’s take a look at some of the most blatant quotes and videos published by Jehovah’s Witnesses that awkwardly discuss the extremely personal matter of masturbation and homosexuality.
Masturbation Leads to Homosexuality
Jehovah’s Witnesses have long believed that masturbation leads to homosexuality.
According to a Watchtower study article from May 15, 1970, “autoeroticism or masturbation” is “no mere innocent pastime but rather a practice that can lead to homosexual acts.” They argue that masturbation can make it easier and more tempting for someone to engage in mutual masturbation, which they describe as a form of homosexuality.
The Watchtower has also taught that “unclean practices, such as masturbation, which can be a steppingstone to homosexuality, have been dealt with in a serious, yet understanding, way” by congregations.
Mental Illness and Masturbation
Jehovah’s Witnesses have also linked masturbation with mental illness. In a Watchtower study article from September 15, 1973, the organization claimed that “mentally deranged people are notorious masturbators.”
Additionally, they stated that “the habitual practice” of masturbation can lead to the “crippling” of a person’s social and emotional development. It can also “turn the person inward” and make them introverted, or it can lead to homosexuality.
The Watchtower has even gone as far as to suggest that mentally disturbed priests and nuns are “chronic masturbators.”
Self-Abuse and Corruption of the Mind
Jehovah’s Witnesses have described masturbation as a “spiritually unhealthy habit” that fosters “self-centeredness” and “corrupts the mind.”
In a Watchtower study article from September 15, 1973, they warned that “weakly giving in to sexual desires by masturbation will certainly not give you strength when faced with a situation tempting you to commit fornication—or even homosexuality.”
Prayer and Marriage as Solutions
The organization has also suggested prayer and marriage as ways to overcome the supposed sin of masturbation. In an Awake study article from September 22, 1992, they shared the story of a young Jehovah’s Witness who claimed that “praying and calling on Jehovah” helped her to resist the urge to masturbate.
In a Watchtower study article from August 2016, the organization suggested that getting married can help a person to avoid giving in to “such a practice as masturbation or to sexual immorality.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ preoccupation with masturbation and homosexuality has led to some controversial statements that have been criticized by many.
While the organization’s views on these topics may be a matter of personal opinion, their teachings have been widely criticized as harmful and discriminatory. By suggesting that masturbation leads to homosexuality and linking mental illness with masturbation, Jehovah’s Witnesses perpetuate negative stereotypes that only serve to harm those struggling with these issues.