2002 Jordan Institute
7, No. 2
begin to explore their bodies, including their genitals.
is the primary method infants have available for learning about their
bodies, other's bodies, and their sexuality.
response to that body exploration is one of the earliest forms of
all adults report having participated in sex play as children.
express interest in feelings aroused by touching their genitalia in
the same way they express interest in the light of the moon, or a
flower blooming. Children express general interest in others' bodies
and may touch. Adult reactions teach shame or that privacy is important
for certain behaviors.
occurs naturally in boys and girls, and begins in infancy. By the
age of two or three years, most children have learned that masturbation
in front of others is likely to get them in trouble.
interest in viewing (via photographs, films, videos, etc.) other people's
children become sexually active in pre-adolescence. When they do,
it is usually initiated by adults.
activity or play during this age usually represents the use of sex
for non-sexual goals and purposes.
itself is generally marked by the societal acknowledgment of sexual
capacity. The way other people react to a teen's physical sexual characteristics
(body hair, formation of breasts, deepening of the voice, beginning
of menses) have a profound affect on both the young person's sense
of self esteem and the development of his/her social skills.
develops a growing awareness of being a sexual person, and of the
place and value of sex in one's life, including such options as celibacy.
may work toward significant resolution of confusion and conflict about
It is during
this time that individuals are able to join together the physical
and social aspects of sex and sexuality.
practice some types of interactive sexual behaviors with others, such
as fondling, open-mouth kissing, and simulated intercourse.
Simon, W., & Gagnon,
J. (1998). Psychosexual development. Society, 35 (2), 60-68.
Sgroi, S., Bunk, B.,
& Wabrek, C. (1988). Children's sexual behaviors and their relationship
to sexual abuse. In A. Gitterman (Ed.), Vulnerable Populations.
Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Sarrel, L. (1989).
Sexual unfolding revisited. SIECUS Report, 18 (1), 4-5.