Infantile masturbation is considered a variant of normal behaviour. The abrupt and spontaneous onset, altered sensorium and autonomic phenomena during episodes may suggest an epileptic fit. Therefore, children with infantile masturbation are often admitted to hospital and undergo unnecessary tests. The purpose of the present study was to provide a detailed description of hand activities in infantile masturbation.
The authors reviewed video recordings of 2 boys and 11 girls with infantile masturbation. Position, movements and activities of hands and fingers during episodes were registered.
Five patterns of hand activities were registered: Fisting (four infants), grasping of toys, furniture or clothing (ten infants), chorea-like “piano playing” hand movements (two infants), pressure over the diaper/genital region (one infant) and bimanual manipulation of items (four infants). Fisting was primarily observed in the younger infants, and bimanual manipulation was primarily seen in the older infants.
Recognizing one or more of the five distinct patterns of hand activities in infantile masturbation may help establishing the diagnosis.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to European Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Masturbation mimicking abdominal pain or seizures in young girls.J Pediatr. 1990; 116: 810-814
- Masturbation in infancy and early childhood presenting as a movement disorder: 12 cases and a review of the literature.Pediatrics. 2005; 116: 1427-1432
- Gratification disorder (“infantile masturbation”): a review.Arch Dis Child. 2004; 89: 225-226
- Masturbation mimicking paroxysmal dystonia or dyskinesia in a young girl.Mov Disord. 1995; 10: 518-520
- Childhood masturbation.Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1993; 32: 238-241
- Video reveals self-stimulation in infancy.Acta Paediatr. 2004; 93: 844-846
- Epileptic fits or infantile masturbation?.Seizure. 1992; 1: 199-201
- Problems of differentiation between epilepsy and non-epileptic paroxysmal events in the first year of life.Arch Dis Child. 1995; 73: 342-344
- Masturbation mimicking seizure in an infant.Indian J Pediatr. 2001; 68: 779-781
Accepted: October 5, 2008
Received: July 1, 2008
© 2008 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.