Childhood sexuality – what is abnormal at four and five?

There is a case about a pre-school in California being shut down for lack of supervision.
Okay I get that part, we must have our children watched properly.

Let’s get something out there right off the bat… I am not advocating sexual abuse, let alone abusing kids. This disussion or more on sexuality in general.

Part of what I don’t get, and I hope that someone among us is better trained to asner my other questions, is the sexual aspects that were in play.

These four and five year old children woudl engage in frequent oral sex.
People are freaking out over it and I just want a better understanding.
Our culture has expectations on when one is old enough to start engaging in sexual encounters.

My education in psycology is limited to my Psych 101 class, anything beyond that is just general readon and observation. So, I am NOT qualified to do more an theorize about the situation.

We know that humans are sexual creatures. Sexuality starts long before adults want it to. Masturbation begins in diapers. We expect (or dream for) our daughters to be virginal until marriage in their 20-30’s.

As I read ABC’s article, they mentioned how these kids are being sexualized too early and “That their lives will be ruined in many ways.” Really? ruined? No, the parents are over-reacting, if the kids were being urged to engage in these behaviors, or were being shown how, I would have a much different stance on this.

“During nap time, the aides would be sleeping and the children would have been molesting each other during this time.” When it is age appropriate (referring to the difference in age between the parties, not the behavior itself) is it really molesting? Since it sounds like it was all consensual within the group. We of course have laws that dictate when consent can apply. My discussion here is more on the kids themselves. They are in an innocent age, and they do not know shame yet. They have not been indoctinated in what is acceptable and what is not yet. They are pure little humans.

WHile we want to guide them out of this behavior, and to follow our social expectations, is this situation getting blown (forgive the inintentional pun please) way out of proportion.

I would really appreciate the input of more qualified individuals in the areas of child psycology and early human development/education to bring more persppective on this. I would also like to hear from preschool educators on how often they have to redirect kids for trying to explore in this direction.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/sexual-encounters-allegedly-everyday-thing-students-california-preschool/story?id=18402570

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9 Responses to Childhood sexuality – what is abnormal at four and five?

  1. Eyes_Open says:

    Sorry, but doesn't anyone else feel that the sign in the photograph is rather ironic, all things considered?

    "god can make all things new, even you" poor taste perhaps, but still comically ironic.

    Maybe this is a training ground for children to go on to Catholic priest… The jokes could go on and on and on…

    But seriously, I'm no expert either, other than raising my on kids, but sexual exploration and curiosity are normal to even kids of this age. The extent they were allowed to go to when they should have been supervised is the real issue. Looking, touching, even kissing are part of that curiosity, as long as it was never an issue of any of them being forced into a situation, then I believe it is natural and harmless, even though it should probably be discouraged as a lessen in propriety and social norms.

    As nudist our children are less curious, as the physical features of the opposite sex are not treated as some terrible thing that should be taboo to view. Does this different perspective harm them? No. It just allows them a different view of the world and to some degree, lowers the obsession that is brought on during puberty.

    Like the author, I would however like to hear from a person with an education in childhood psychology and get their perspective on this.

  2. I think that there's a certain typical "normal" amount of curiosity that happens in childhood – playing doctor etc.- but this sounds a few degrees more major.

    I suspect there is a tragic adult negative influence on one or more of the kids acting out.

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