NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED425848
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Nov-19
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Psychosexual Development in Infants and Young Children: Implications for Caregivers.
Honig, Alice Sterling
Psychosexual development in young children is a topic that early childhood educators often ignore in the belief that children are not sexual beings. This paper discusses psychosexual development in young children, noting that preschoolers are often puzzled by sexual anatomical differences, that children need names for sexual body parts, and that occasional masturbation is normal. Other topics discussed in the paper include the Oedipal period in children, play choices of boys and girls, early cognitive stages in understanding about sex and gender, and the appearance of sex differences in play styles and preferences. Biological and cognitive development explanations for children's preferences for single-sex play groups are also given. Other sections of the paper discuss sex stereotyping in toy preferences, peer influences on sex stereotyping during early elementary grades, adults who over-emphasize sex differences, and television's role in emphasizing female-male differences. The paper concludes with tips for caregivers to promote healthy psychosexual development, including the following: (1) name body parts for young children; (2) talk about TV sexuality discrimination; (3) help boys and girls to become both competent/agentic and nurturant in their social interactions; (4) use bibliotherapy; (5) work on your own attitudes, fears, and shame about sexuality; (6) use creativity in planning and organizing activities that will minimize strong sex differentiation in play patterns; (7) provide a library of materials for parents so that they can learn more about psychosexual development; and (8) acknowledge the interest each child has in being a little boy or a little girl whose special gifts and unique self that can be respected in the classroom. (Contains 44 references.) (LPP)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A