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Children should be punished for engaging in childhood
sex play.

The phenomenon of a childhood sex play is very often observed in the preschool period and the early years of school of almost every single child and is not something to be considered having a psychological and sexual negative character. A childhood sexual game is a stage of the sexual development of the child. Children very often play doctor, a “mom and dad”, sometimes undress in front of each other, show and touch their genitals and look at the genitals of their peers. These activities cannot be perceived or associated with adult sexual relations as they have an absolutely different character. As the child explores his sex or the opposite sex, he realizes what the difference between boys and girls is. Such interest is normal and is a part of the child’s social adjustment process (Okami, 1997).
The reason children engage such sex play is rather simple. They are curious about exploring their own bodies and the bodies of other people. The bodies of the peers are the most appealing for child exploration. In such way they learn how they differ form other people and what similarities do they have. The attempt to punish a child will not eliminate the child’s psychological demand for this experience (Larsson, 2001). Correspondingly, the punishment needs to be substituted by a calm explanation. Through a good explanation the child understands understanding that his body belongs to him and a good explanation teaches to reject any touching that is not desired by the child. The adult in such a way understands the child’s explorative interest. The punishment can create psychological problems for a child, and a talk can clear out sever essential aspects. It is important for a parent to realize that there is nothing pathological with a child engaged in a sex play. The child is to accept this notion in order to eliminate the feeling of shame and guilt and also to learn that a man and a woman differ physiologically (Pike,2001).
It goes without saying that the knowledge that the child is engaged in sex plays is extremely disturbing for the parents. Nevertheless, it is necessary to demonstrate a corresponding response to this play in order to influence the child. It is vital to remember that the fact that a child is engaged in sex plays does not determine his future sexual orientation or in some way damages his sexuality. The child’s participation in a sex play has nothing to do with a sexual or behavior disorder. Therefore it is vital not to overreact as the punishment may lead to such unpleasant consequences as making the child feel ashamed and guilty about being body exploration and eventually create sexual problems when the child becomes a grown up. Childhood sex plays are a part of normal development of any child, correspondingly punishment is the most inappropriate way to respond to it. According to human development and family studies, the best way to behave in such situations is to explain the child what is actually happening. The statement “children should be punished for engaging in childhood sex play” is false, as any type of punishment may result in a sort of the child’s inferiority complex and potentially negatively influence the process of intersexual interactions and directly sexual relations.


1. Okami,P; Olmstead,R and Abramson,P. (1997).Sexual experiences in early childhood: 18-year longitudinal data from the UCLA family lifestyles project – University of California, Los Angeles. Journal of Sex Research.34, 339-347.

2. Larsson, I. & Svedin, C. G. (2001). Sexual experiences in childhood: young adult’s recollections. Arch Sex Behav, 31(3):263-73.

3. Pike,L.(2001). Sexuality and your child: for children ages 3 to 7.Retrieved July 10,2008.


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