By now I’m sure you’re familiar with the age-old adage, “Every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten.” When my doctor said this to me the other day, it made me think: can the statement really be true? Although the idiom implies a causal link, let’s take it at face value and assume that it is merely observing a correlation between the kitten mortality rate and the masturbation rate. Does such a correlation exist?
Approximately 70,000 dogs and cats are born in the U.S. each day, or 25,567,500 each year. Of these, roughly 54%, or 13,806,450, are cats. Since 34.5% of cats don’t live to see their first birthday, we can assume that about 4,763,225 kittens die each year in the United States alone. We’ll take for granted that God in His divine Wisdom purposely smote each of these kittens.
Let’s assume that the idiom is talking only about male masturbation. Let’s further assume, highly conservatively, that males do not start masturbating until they reach age 15. Of the total U.S. male population, 107,199,356 would then be masturbation-age males. Again, let’s conservatively estimate that teenagers masturbate no more frequently than adults, and that all men masturbate an average of 20 times each month or 240 times per year. This means that each man in the United States masturbates approximately every 1.5 days. It also means that there are approximately 25,727,845,440 male masturbation sessions in the United States each year.
There are nearly 26 billion male masturbation sessions in the U.S., yet there are fewer than five million kitten deaths annually. Far from a one-to-one correlation, there are 5401.5 masturbation sessions for every single kitten death. This means that the average American man can masturbate regularly for 22.5 years before he is responsible for the death of a single kitten. Indeed, with a life expectancy of less than 75 years, the average man will be responsible for only two or three kitten deaths in a lifetime of vigorous masturbation.