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ERIC Number: EJ959715
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
"You Want Me to Talk to Children about What?" Responding to the Subject of Sexuality Development in Young Children
Sciaraffa, Mary; Randolph, Theresa
Young Children, v66 n4 p32-38 Jul 2011
Many people think it is taboo to talk about sex with children. Adults reinforce this belief when, for example, they use substitute words rather than "vagina" or "penis". They may be embarrassed to learn about children's sexual development or ask others for assistance. Although most people in US society are open about sexuality now, the topic of human sexuality development in young children continues to challenge early childhood educators. Early childhood professionals need to become knowledgeable about and comfortable with the topic in order to support healthy sexuality development for children. Human sexuality is much more than intercourse and reproduction; it encompasses many components, including a person's identity, gender, behaviors, values, and ideas about intimacy. Young children learn about these components either directly or indirectly from trusted adults. Adults who are open and positive help children develop a healthy attitude about their bodies, about being a boy or a girl, about having close relationships with others, and about asking questions about their bodies. Children will thrive when teachers and parents support their sexuality development. When trusting adults respond knowledgeably to children's questions and behaviors, then the child is more likely to develop a healthy sense of sexuality. (Contains 14 resources and 4 online resources.)
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: Parents; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A