Attune

Attune means harmony. This blog is about harmonizing ourselves in our connection to others and to our planet. I bow to basic goodness in our world and in relationships encourage opening our hearts with love and compassion.

UNDERSTANDING THE EARLY SEXUAL PROBLEMS OF CHILDREN

By:   Susan Grey Smith, PhD, LMFT

March 3, 2014—Part 3:

Mutual developmentally inappropriate or repetitive sexual interactions characterize the second group of children with sexual behavior problems and overlaps with the first group of sexually reactive children.  Children in the second group engage in mutual but developmentally inappropriate sexual behavior and have acted out these behaviors with other children.  Unlike some solitary reactive sexual behavior, the main ingredient is that they are involved sexually with age mates or others who are developmentally similar.  

The child may have learned the sexual behavior from another child in unsupervised time with siblings or cousins, or in day care, foster care, psychiatric or other types of residential placements.  They play out adult sexual behaviors such as looking at pornography, simulating sexual intercourse or oral sex with each other, or actually having oral, vaginal or anal sexual intercourse with age mates who keep the behaviors secret.  Either child may or may not have had previous sexual encounters with other children or adults. 

The child may believe that the behaviors are no big deal yet they may be engaging younger, unknowing children in this adult-like activity.  It is always startling to the adults who catch them acting out such advanced sexuality.  Mutual sexual behavior is more difficult to stop if the child has used the behavior as a coping strategy and it has become habituated.

Posted 466 weeks ago

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