Why is masturbation not onanism?

Veronica PAT MD.
Clinic of Dentistry, Tel Aviv

Masturbation consists of performing manual stimulating maneuvers on the external genita- lia by an individual, regardless of gender, in order to obtain an erotic state, often completed by orgasm and ejaculation.
Male masturbation is improperly called “onanism”, a terminology derived from the biblical male character named Onan (in the Old Testament).
Onan refused to fulfill the responsibility of the levirate, whose duty it was, according to the Jewish religion, to “sow” the widow of his brother, with whom, according to the ancient ordi- nance, he had married to ensure the continuation of his spoke.

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