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Lecture 6

lecture 6 of psych 2035

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Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

The Development of Sexual Behaviour October 29, 2012 Part One: Infancy and Childhood  A. Sexual Responsiveness in Infants 1) Capacity for sexual arousal is present at birth (before) 2) Responses are “reflexive”. Result from physical stimulation (crying, eating, full- bladder) & psychological stimulation (watching exciting things, fires, wild animals) 3) Responses are indiscriminate (caused by a wide variety of things) B. Sexual Behaviour in Childhood -Takes the form of „play‟ 1) Autoerotic Play (emerges 6-12 months) -Random contact with genitals (pleasurable) -Deliberate contact with genitals 2) Sociosexual Play (emerges age 3) -Reflects curiosity (about others‟ bodies) -Expressed in Games (e.g. playing doctor) 3) How should parents respond to sociosexual play in children? -Its natural (most kids do it because they‟re curious), so don‟t over-react -Response is likely to be the first step in child‟s sexual socialization -Should understand that it is natural C. Sexual Socialization of Children 1) Cross-Cultural Studies: in some cultures, children are: -allowed to watch adults have sex -encouraged to imitate sexual intercourse when playing with friends -taught how to masturbate and perform oral sex -WHY = if they don‟t have these early experiences they wont become fertile and be capable of producing their own children **Children in ALL cultures must learn appropriate sexual behaviour BUT children are limited by what they are capable of learning (cognitive development) and limited by what society allows them to learn 2) The Role of Parents (in our society) -Verbal communication between parents and children is not always open and honest a} Parents‟ strategies for Information Control -“Labeling”: sexual behaviour is labeled as wrong, no explanation for why it‟s wrong. -“Non-Labeling”: use distraction to shift the focus of sexual discussion -“Mislabeling”: sexual behaviour is labeled as wrong but for incorrect reason = fear and shame about sexual behaviour (get germs) b} Kid‟s nicknames for sexual organs (kids think use of correct term is naughty/rude) c} Parents‟ nonverbal communication: (blushing/fidgeting) -often signals anxiety about sexual behaviour nd -e.g. pictures of “birth” drawn by American kids VS. Swedish kids in 2 grade d} Why isn‟t communication between parents and kids more open and honest? -parents uncomfortable discussing sex with each other (let alone their children) -will discuss sex only if children ask -will discuss sex only at „appropriate time‟ -believe discussion will encourage kids to experiment with sex (actually doesn‟t) -when parents are main source of sexual information young people are less likely to engage in pre-marital sex Part Two: Adolescence A. Sexual Fantasies: -Safe way to think about sex -Frequen
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