If you want to give a parent heart palpitations, just mention the words children and sex in the same sentence. Then stand back and watch the theatrics flow. In modern society we’re taught to regard children as asexual beings, and treat sex as something shameful, degrading and taboo. Thus the slightest hint of sexuality wherein children are concerned is seen as something horribly unnatural and harmful; a force which traumatizes, defiles, and steals away innocence. Given such attitudes, it’s no wonder the mention of children and sex fills most parents with dread.
To Americans this anxiety might seem perfectly natural, yet there’s really no reason for all the fuss. The truth is that children have been sexual creatures from the very beginning, and this subject doesn’t have to be the frightening boogeyman parents make it out to be. Sexual exploration is a normal and healthy aspect of their development, and if you treat it as such, then there’s little reason to fear all those things parents typically worry about.
In all cultures at all times and locations, children have been prone to exhibit a wide variety of self-initiated sexual behaviors. You can tap your ruby slippers together and wish it weren’t so all you want, but children are going to continue to grow and develop as sexual creatures, with or without your guidance and approval. This is the natural order of things, and it’s society’s tendency to shame and repress all forms of childhood sexuality that’s out of sync with normal human development.
This hysteria surrounding children and sex isn’t just silly, it’s downright harmful. We now have 5-year-olds being charged with sex crimes because foolish adults don’t understand child development. Sexual paranoia is steadily squeezing touch, affection, and social interaction from children’s lives, which cumulatively causes far more harm than a few “bad touches” ever would. And as for the issue at the center of all this hysteria (child molestation and sexual abuse), nearly all of the harm in most of these situations is delivered through the shame and stigma we ourselves create, not by way of what children experience. So all of this paranoia isn’t helping anyone, least of all children.
Trying to deny your child’s sexual nature has always been a fool’s errand, but it’s especially problematic today. At a time when the average age for pornography viewing has dropped into the lower grades of elementary school; when kids, even little ones, are sexting nude pictures of themselves to others, often complete strangers; and with sexual hysteria, body insecurity and sexual confusion at all-time highs, continuing to pretend that children have no sexuality comes with enormous risk. So parents ignore this issue at their peril.
This area was created to help parents and teachers better deal with those sexual situations children present us with, while countering some of the sexual insanity that’s swirling around out there. We’ll help you better understand what’s normal for kids, while offering advice on how to handle these situations in a positive way that promotes a sexually healthy environment.
Information about kids & Sex
We have a wide range of information to help you with just about any question or issue you might be struggling with:
- Why it’s important to raise a sexually healthy child
Childhood Sexuality & Sexual Development
Sexual Behavior in Children
- Masturbation in Children
- Pornography viewing among children
see also …
Sexual Bullying (in our Bullying area)
Protecting Kids from Sexual Abuse (in our child abuse area)