Children's Sexuality Development and Behaviors
You can learn to recognize typical behaviors.
If you are a parent or work with children, learning about sexual development is key to preventing child sexual abuse. You can learn to recognize typical behaviors -- as well as the concerning behaviors that need intervention.
You can learn to talk to your kids about healthy sexual development.
Talking to children and adolescents about healthy sexuality development and their sexual behaviors is an important step in establishing a safer environment. When parents and caregiving adults can talk with youth about their bodies and sexual behaviors, safe touching and healthy boundaries and privacy concerns, then children and teenagers are better prepared to seek out help when they have questions or concerns. By feeling comfortable talking with children about their own sexuality development, and feeling confident that children are receiving accurate and age-appropriate information and boundaries, adults are better prepared to help their children when there is a concern or problem.
- Learn what behaviors to expect by age in our Age-Appropriate Sexual Behavior Tip Sheet.
- Learn how to talk to the kids you care for about their bodies with Tip Sheet: Sexuality Concepts for Children (Ages 4-8)
- Find out Why Sexuality Education is an Important Part of Safety Planning
- Visit the resources below for more information on sexual development.
The Future of Sex Ed (Advocates for Youth)
Resource on sex education for parents, professionals and anyone involved in the welfare of children and teens.
There's No Place Like Home... For Sex Education
Sexual development information that is age-specific, offered in English and Spanish.
Early, Open, Often
Instructional videos and information for parents about keeping kids safe from child sexual abuse. Includes Spanish-language material.
Bathing Children and Privacy Issues: Article
Article about children and privacy surrounding bathing and showering.
Helping Children Develop Healthy Sexual Behavior and Attitudes: Article
Information on communicating with children and youth about healthy sexuality.
Understanding Children's Sexual Behaviors: Guidebooks
Guidebooks on healthy sexuality development by Toni Cavanaugh Johnson, Ph.D., an expert in children's sexual behaviors.
Sexual Development and Behavior in Children: Fact and Information Pages (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
Facts and information about children's sexual development.
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
Information about sexuality for adults and youth.