Is it normal for a young child to connect their private parts to the idea of sex?


Can you please tell me if children normally connect their private parts to the idea of sex or the reproductive parts of the opposite sex? I'm asking because I did so since around 7. Is it normal?


A child, prior to puberty, has no built-in concept of what is sex. He will not typically make the connection of what his reproductive parts are for unless a child is exposed to the concept of sex, either by seeing it portrayed in sexual themed movies or even pornography or by being sexually abused by someone else. Even children who see animals mating, understand the concept of reproduction in general, but rarely apply the ideas to themselves. It is not until puberty hits and the child begins to feel sexual desire does the meaning of the parts suddenly makes sense.

Every time I have discussed with parents the problem of a young, prepubescent child acting out sexually, I have always found that the child was sexually abused by someone else. The behavior is the first warning sign some parents get that someone is abusing their child. Often the child has no concept of what or why they are doing these things. It is just something that had happened to them, so they imitate the same "play" with someone else.

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