Probably no word appears more often in the questions that come to this website than the word ‘normal.’ Many males are trying to determine if what they ‘do’ or ‘have’ is normal, as it relates to sexual issues (e.g., size of their penis, frequency of masturbation, sexual preference, etc.)
How does one determine what is normal? Many believe there is some clearly agreed upon standard established by someone or some group that can provide answers to such questions. Unfortunately, for many male sexual questions that are frequently raised, no such standards exist. Even scientific studies, such as those done by Alfred Kinsey many years ago in the 1950s (and other scientists more recently) do not provide answers as to what is ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’.
At best, they can provide insight into the sexual practices of ‘most men’ or ‘most women.’ So, for example, scientific studies show that most men masturbate. Does this mean that those who do not are abnormal? Of course not! Such studies can provide important insights, but they do not tell us what is ‘normal.’ They are pointers to what seem to be the practices of men and women on sexual matters. It is not their task to determine what is normal or not.
American society and most other societies have determined that certain sexual practices are not acceptable, and they have outlawed them.
For example, prostitution, public nudity, rape, sexual abuse of minors, etc., have had related legislation enforced to protect innocent individuals from sexual trauma. Lawmakers have determined that such practices are not normal and not good for a society at large. And those who violate these laws can be punished. But on what basis and what foundation does society make such a judgment? When we feel we can see enough to determine what is normal or not, we are moving onto a different plane of thinking.
We are essentially asking questions that relate to religion and ethics. As far as many questions raised on this site are concerned, religion and ethics have nothing to say; but on some them have clearly defined views.
For example, there are no clear guidelines to determine if anal intercourse is normal or not. Here it is a matter of what the individuals directly involved find acceptable. Some religious groups, on the other hand, have judged that masturbation and homosexual practices are sinful (and abnormal).
When we ask questions about what is normal or abnormal in sexual practice, we are moving into consideration of the ethical standards that guide our lives. Some find these standards in religious faith, others in humanism. However, most people tend to want to meet the unwritten requirements or standards in what is called ‘popular culture beliefs’.
These beliefs are the values, morals, ethics, and benchmarks passed on to us by the culture in which we live. There are many different cultures in the world and within the United States itself.
Therefore, to answer a question about what is ‘normal’ is often very difficult. What is ‘normal’ to me, my neighborhood, my religion, my state, my province, or my nation may not be considered ‘normal’ to you in your society.
On this website, it is possible to provide mathematical means and averages based on studies, polls, and surveys. However, this information might not be what a specific individual within his own family, culture, and society can use or apply to himself.