How to Evaluate the Health of Your Childhood Sexual Behaviors
If your childhood sexual behaviors reflected age-appropriate curiosity, and you respected boundaries that you were taught, you likely had adults in your life who were promoting sexual health. On the other hand, if your childhood sex behaviors were provocative, hostile, repetitive (you kept doing the same provocative behaviors), and you did not have instruction from parents or other adults about sexual boundaries, you probably learned unhealthy attitudes and feelings that impeded sexual growth. Remember that the vast majority of childhood sexual behaviors are exploratory and age appropriate, so do not make the mistake of labeling them sick or deviant unless you clearly see them as provocative or hostile/angry and you did not outgrow the stage. Canadian health care mall impotence medications
As you recall your childhood sexual experiences, consider your placement on the sexual behavior health continuum. Here are some factors to consider:
- Use the results of studies of childhood sexual behaviors as a starting point for getting your bearings on what children do. These studies probably underreport what children actually do because parents and teachers do not see or know about every behavior of their kids. Use these data as a reference point for understanding your own experiences.
- Remember and accept that age-appropriate childhood sexual experiences with peers is normal, but not with adults or adolescents 5 years older. Children may be curious and even provocative, but it is the adult’s responsibility to set clear physical and emotional boundaries with a child. For example, when a child asks to touch an adult’s breasts or penis, the adult needs to calmly say no. When adults appropriately handle such experiences, kids learn healthy sexual boundaries –
- Exploratory sexual behaviors vary by age and are healthy when age appropriate. Sexual behaviors that do not fit the child’s age are questionable and can be problematic.
- Consider the purpose of your childhood sex behavior. Was it exploratory—“show and tell”—or provocative or attention getting? Was there a rebellious quality to it? To what extent was it seeking sensual pleasure or sexual arousal? Was the behavior motivated by other than sexual feelings (loneliness, frustration, anxiety, anger)? This reflects the issue of emotional sexualization. To what extent was a boundary breached repetitively, especially after a parent or other adult told you that the behavior was not age or socially appropriate? A single event of innocent exploration (curiosity) by a 4-year-old who responds to the parents boundary-teaching is normal and healthy, whereas a 4-year-old who cruelly hits another boy’s penis and, even after parental instruction, repeats the behavior rebelliously, raises serious psychological and sexual concerns.
- Identify the level of sexual health that occurred in your child-hood and adolescence. If you feel confused or concerned, consult a psychologist who specializes in sexual therapy to assess your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Also, if you viewed your experiences as being sexually abusive, humiliating, or traumatic, using therapy to help you understand and process this will enhance your adult sexual health.