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Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Child Sexuality/Life Cycle

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Western University
Psychology 2075
Corey Isaacs

Chapter 10 CHILD SEXUALITYLIFE CYCLE sex is more than having sexual intercoursescientists think human sexual development as a process that occurs throughout the lifespaninfluences by biological psychological social and cultural factorsFreud thought all crucial aspects of development were to occur in childhoodnewer lifespan approach to understanding development of our sexual behaviour throughout the course of our livesDATA SOURCESmost of data comes from surveys in which adults are questioned about their childhood sexual behaviour self report subject to reporting biases exaggeration or concealmentmay be error from forgetting hard to report sexual behaviour when you were 10 if you are now 60alternative to interview children about their sexual behaviour rarely done opposition from parents politicians may argue it would harm the children studiedreactions reflect beliefs that children are not yet sexual being should not be exposed to questions about sexfew studies have questioned childrenKinsey interviewed children 414recent innovation of talking computer to interview childrencomputer says question through head phones child enters answer through key board provides confidentiality more children reported more sexual experience to the computer than in facetoface interviewsCanada Youth Sexual Health and HIVAIDS study are important national surveysseries of surveys by Bibby and Posterski provide some info about adolescent sexualitystudies of child and adolescent sexual behaviour have all been questionnaires or interviews no direction observations of childs sexual behaviourINFANCY 0 to 2 yearsinfants have sexual urges and engage in sexual behaviourcapacity of human body to show a sexual response is present from birthmale infants get erections some are born with themultrasound shows reflex erections occur in male fetus during pregnancyvaginal lubrication has been found in baby girls 24 hrs after birth first intimate relationship of child is with motherphysical contact tactile olfactory visual auditory sensesactivities with nurturing and hygienic care are intimate and sensuous lips mouth anus genitals can produce physiological response of sensuous naturethings like breast feeding toilet training bathing cleaning and diapering1 Self Stimulationinfants observed fondling own genitalsrhythmic manipulation of genitals like adult masturbation does not to occur until age 25 or 3Ford and Beach noted that infants will progress from absent minding fingering of genitals to systematic masturbation by age 6 to 8some cultures adults fondle infants genitals to keep them quietorgasms possible but boys not able to ejaculate before pubertyself stim is normal form of sexual expressioninfants who have optimal maternal relationships more likely to stimulate their genitals 2 InfantInfant Sexual Encountersinfants are very self centered even when playing with other children may be in their own worldearliest sex is typically one person sex self stimnot until later do they develop social 2 person sexlater in infancy may be some infantinfant encounters affectionate or sexualkiss huge pat stroke or gaze3 NonGenital Sensual Experiencesdelight in putting things in their mouth sucking at mothers breast or sucking on his or her own fingerscuddled or rocked can be sensuousexperiences in early intimate encounters might influence reactions to intimacy in adulthoodsome infants are cuddlers or non cuddlers diff personality patternsnoncuddlers displeasure and restlessness when handled crawl or walk away from them when able to4 Attachmentquality of relationship with parents as infant important to capacity for later sexualemotional relationshipsattachment begins right after birth throughout infancyattachments form later to other familiar people earliest experiences with love and emotional attachment
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