April 21, 2011
Childhood Development and Sexual Behaviors
As children grow up they go through several stages of development and sexual behaviors. This is a review of the sexual behaviors associated with the stages of childhood development. There are four stages of sexual behaviors. They are: infancy (0 - 2 years), early childhood (3 – 8 years), preadolescence (9 – 13 years), and adolescence (teenager) (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). Sexual behaviors start before a child leaves its mother’s womb. For example, both male and female fetuses suck on their fingers; which is a sexual behavior. Another example is that the male fetuses can have erections. The sexual behaviors that are associated with the infancy stage include babies can have orgasms as early as five month for boys and four months for girls. Infants around eight months do pelvic thrusting against objects; such as stuffed animals or blankets. Between six and eight months most will start to masturbate. Children start to become sexually curious around 12 to 15 months. An example of this would be if a daughter watched their mother getting dressed or nude. The next stage of development is early childhood. This is when children often show each other their bodies. Such as when children play doctor and explore their bodies. Children touch themselves usually at home and alone. Both boys and girls will play with dolls; Barbie or G.I. Joes. Children around three to eight years will want to touch their mother’s breasts. The next stage is called preadolescence stage. The sexual behaviors for children in this stage are that they will show the opposite sexes their genitals. This may or may not include touching. Most children are very interested in the opposite sex. Both sexes will experience masturbation or petting. The final stage is adolescence. Children experience puberty and wet dreams. Boys have frequent erections and by 13 or 14 years they will...