ERIC Number: EJ1051815
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Recognizing and Responding to Young Children's Sexual Behaviors in the Classroom
Kenny, Maureen C.; Dinehart, Laura H.; Wurtele, Sandy K.
Young Exceptional Children, v18 n1 p17-29 Mar 2015
Many early childhood educators encounter children who exhibit sexual behavior and are not sure how to respond. Although they have had training in childhood development, sexual development is rarely given the attention it deserves. At the same time, early childhood education personnel often get training in child abuse and in their responsibilities as mandated reporters to report suspected abuse, including childhood sexual abuse (CSA), to the appropriate authorities. Thus, they may worry about any child who displays sexual behavior. Discriminating between typical and atypical sexual behaviors is critical to recognizing whether a child has been sexually abused (Wurtele & Kenny, 2011). Beyond recognizing behaviors, early childhood educators may feel ill-equipped to address children's sexual behaviors in the classroom. In this article, the authors explore typical sexual behaviors in young children and provide suggestions for early childhood educators' responses to all children in the classroom, including children with disabilities.
Descriptors: Early Childhood Education, Young Children, Sexuality, Behavior Problems, Sexual Abuse, Disclosure, Teacher Role, Preschool Teachers, Disabilities, Human Body, Sex Education, Developmentally Appropriate Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A