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Overview of infantile sexuality

Before it was thought (including science) that there was no sexuality  in the life of the child and that it began precisely at puberty, largely due to the amnesia we experience in this field.

Childhood amnesia occurs between 6 and 8 years when repression is fully armed and the emotions of desire are stifled. But the feelings experienced at that stage leave traces in the memory.

After this stage comes the latency period where the sexual goal deviates towards something socially valued, such as an artistic and / or scientific production, which is known as sublimation . And it is precisely in this period that the reactive and substitute formations begin to originate. This ends the puberty period in which genital sexuality begins to express itself .

 Characters of infantile sexuality

  • It is directly related to nutrition .
  • It is autoerotic .
  • It has the presence of an erogenous zone .

As for the nutrition of infantile sexuality, this is expressed in the sucking, with a rhythmic accompaniment and the period that occurs after sucking, which is compared to a post-orgasmic period.

Autoeroticism  (sexuality oriented in one’s own body) is seen for example from  babies , when they suck their hands or fingers, this produces a pleasant sensation.

In relation to the erogenous zones, throughout the first years of life and in the affective-sexual development  there are three that prevail: the mouth, the anus and the external genitalia.

What do children need to know about sexuality?

At about the age of 5, children begin to feel a deeper interest in sexuality. Questions may begin to arise about how babies are born and how they are made , why girls and boys are different, and other concerns that attract the child’s attention.

Children should be familiar with sexuality and it should not be taken as a taboo, nor as something that should not be talked about, on the contrary, because until adolescence -which is when sexuality reaches its peak-, Children must be familiar with sexuality and know that it is not a bad thing to want to learn about the physical and psychological conditions that characterize each gender.

From the age of 5, children should begin to know: 

  • that people’s bodies come in different shapes, sizes, and colors
  • that the bodies of girls and women are different from the bodies of boys and men
  • the correct names of body parts, including sexual and reproductive body parts
  • How babies are made
  • how a baby “enters” and “leaves” a woman’s body
  • that talking about their sexual parts is not a bad thing
  • that it is normal to touch the genitals for pleasure, but that this should be done in private
  • that people’s bodies belong to themselves
  • that all living things reproduce
  • how to recognize yourself and protect yourself from possible sexual abuse; for example, teaching them that sexual abusers can appear kind, generous, and caring
  • that there are different types of sexualities, for example, heterosexual and homosexual.
  • how to say “no” to unwanted touch
  • who should be able to talk to trusted adults about sexual issues, questions, and concerns
You may also be interested in:   Depression

According to Freudian theory …

Freud considered children as polymorphic perverse because they enjoy many things that cause them pleasure, such as eating, looking, exhibiting. If an adult person came to orgasm only in such a way, he would be considered a pervert, such as a fetishist or a masochist. Also in parental care there is some sexual stimulation.

As the child grows he engages other people for pleasure, primarily in the function of seeing and displaying. And between the ages of three and five, the child begins to realize his sexuality and its differentiation.

Within the phallic psychosexual stage it occurs  Oedipus complex – where the child feels an excessive feeling of love for the father of sex contrary and in turn the complex “castration” in the child and complex “envy of the penis” in the little girl.

From three to five years (when it begins to cause the super-ego ) is put into play the instinct of knowing , wondering and asking for example where babies come ; It is common for children at this age to think that babies come out of the belly or the navel. They do not believe the story of the stork but neither do they reconcile fertilization so they abandon the search for an answer. But if a child at this age sees his parents in the sexual act, he will imagine it as something nefarious, as a sadistic act.

Sexual behavior problems in children

Studies of school-age or preschool-age children with sexual behavior problems suggest that between 49% and 80% have been victims of sexual harassment. Sexual behavior problems in preschool-age children are usually found alongside other behavior problems .

Some studies suggest that the younger the child, the more likely sexual behaviors are related to a history of sexual abuse, but other evidence shows that there is a relatively low confirmation rate (less than 40%) for older children. school or preschool with severe sexual behavior problems. In some cases, sexual behavior problems can be influenced by other peers of their age or influential people in the child’s environment. These sexual behaviors may not be considered a real problem, they may simply be transient acquired behaviors.

Significant differences have been found between young children with sexual behavior problems (6 to 9 years) and older children (10 to 12 years).
Preschool-age children with sexual behavior problems have been shown to display more frequent sexual behaviors than school-age children. Child sexual behavior problems have also been found to be linked to child abuse, exposure to family violence, and other general behavior disorders.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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