Masturbation Legal Definition in California

In People v. Chambless (1999) 74 Cal.App.4th 773, after considering common dictionary definitions and basic rules of statutory construction, we concluded that the definition of masturbation "encompasses any touching or contact, however slight, of the genitals of either the victim or the offender, with the requisite intent." (People v. Chambless, supra, 74 Cal.App.4th at pp. 783-787.) In other words, masturbation describes "any act of genital touching." (Id. at p. 785.) California statutory law does not provide a formal legal definition of masturbation. (People v. Chambless, supra, 74 Cal.App.4th at p. 784.) "Rather, such word appears to have been used simply in its commonly understood meaning to describe the touching of one's own or another's private parts without quantitative requirement for purposes of defining conduct that was lewd or sexually motivated." (Ibid..)