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sexual development in young
What is normal sexual development?
Unless children are interfered with, their sexual development follows a
natural sequence regardless of what society may think about sex at any given
time. Children are born sexual. Boys are often born with erect penises and
girls with lubricated vaginas.
After birth some of the following changes may take place at approximately
the following ages:
2 1/2 Years:
- Children begin to notice that boys and girls assume different postures
to urinate. They may attempt to copy one another’s postures. They begin to
show interest in physical differences.
- Children may play games of ‘show.' They may use ‘bathroom’ talk, and
call one another names like ‘Poophead.' When you take them to visit
friends, they may show an interest in unfamiliar bathrooms. They may
role-play activities they associate with Mommy and Daddy.
- Children become more modest and will demand greater privacy.
- Children begin to demand practical answers about the differences in
the sexes. They may want to know where babies come from and how they are
made. Parents should give children short concrete explanations which don’t
tax their ability to listen. Children also become curious about death at
- There is generally less interest in sexual matters.
- Renewed interest in sex takes the form of smutty jokes, sexual
rhymes, provocative giggling and whispering. Grade 3 teachers may find
themselves flooded with ‘John loves Mary’ notes.
- Children begin to exchange sex information with friends of the same
sex. They may look in books for information about their sexual organs and
how they function.
- Some girls and a few boys will have reached puberty by age 10.
Children show greater interest in the opposite sex. There is considerable
interest in smutty jokes, which will be a little more sophisticated than the
jokes they told when they were 8.
Don’t be alarmed if children appear to skip some of these stages. All
children are different and they all develop at different rates. The stages
listed here are generally true, and are simply intended as guidelines to
help you make an initial judgment about whether a specific child’s behavior
is ‘normal’ or not.
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plants the trees; another gets the shade. -