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Onanism in Reproductive Health


Dictionary.reference.com defines onanism as coitus interruptus or withdrawal of the penis in sexual intercourse so that ejaculation takes place outside the vagina. It is also referred as an act of masturbation. From the preceding two (2) definitions however, significant inconsistencies can easily be noted.

The school is also a place for students to know about onanism and its consequence.

The school is also a place for students to know about onanism and its consequence. http://www.wordatthenet.com.

First, the former connotes the presence of man and woman participating in the act while in the latter, the act can be done alone. Second, the first one is gender sensitive while the second definition is not.

Third, there is an element of physical sexual intercourse in the first  unlike in the second. Fourth, there is an element of insertion and withdrawal in the first  which are not present in the second.

Above are just the examples of the differences and these definitions are also cited in www.thefreedictionary.com.Their inconsistencies may not be fatal, if either one of them  is descriptive , but as maybe noted, both of them are not clearly reflective of the origin of the word. To forewarn, onanism has no relation to Secretary Enrique Ona, the incumbent secretary of Health when onanism was passed into law. His incumbency when the law was passed under President Benigno Aquino and his surname are just a clue to the end times.

Above dictionaries and present historians would agree that the origin of onanism is Genesis 38, stating as follows:

For his first son Er, Judah got a wife whose name was Tamar. Er’s conduct was evil, and it displeased the Lord, so the Lord killed him. Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and sleep with your brother’s widow. Fulfill your obligation to her as her husband’s brother, so that your brother may have descendants.” But Onan knew that the children would not belong to him, so when he had intercourse with his brother’s widow, he let the semen spill on the ground, so that there would be no children for his brother. 10 What he did displeased the Lord, and the Lord killed him also. (Genesis 38:6-10,TEV)

The elements of the verses are as follows:

  1. Evil conduct of Onan’s brother, Er, which displeased the Lord
  2. Death of Er caused by the Lord
  3. Obligation- Onan had to fulfill his deceased brother’s obligation to have descendants with Tamar
  4. Full knowledge-He knew that the children would not belong to him
  5. The Act– when he had intercourse with his brother’s widow, he let the semen spill on the ground
  6. The intention of the Act– so that there would be no children for his brother
  7. Effect to the Lord- It displeased the Lord
  8. Act of the Lord-The Lord killed him

Based on the above elements, only the fifth element was considered in coitus interruptus. The rest were not considered in the present definition of onanism.  Even, coitus interruptus itself is not reflective of the circumstances when the word, designated as peudo-onanism”, came into existence. It did not say the most substantial part of the verses which is the “effect to the Lord”. And because of its apparent absence in the meaning of the word, family planning, contraception  and reproductive health came into existence and were popularly amplified, without significant moral objection of society to the measures.

When the “real onanism” in reproductive health was deliberated and passed into law, in addition to idolatry, Typhoon Pablo in 2012, Sabah crisis, rebellion in Zamboanga City, Cebu-Bohol earthquake  and recent Typhoon  Yolanda resulted pursuant to the 8th element of the verses.

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