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8 Childhood and Adolescent Sexuality

8 Childhood and Adolescent Sexuality - DEVELOPMENTAL...

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DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY We have various developmental tasks throughout life. Early relationships have a huge impact on our psychological and emotional make- up; temperament is also a factor. Object Relations a post-Freudian school of thought that emphasizes our internal world of people. External world has a big impact too: -Family constellation -Social learning, etc. -What’s happening in the larger world Many cultures are extremely anxious about childhood and adolescent sexuality. 0-6 Months: “Normal Symbiosis” Mother & Infant are one unit: “the dyad” - infant does not know s/he is separate. Freud: “Primary Narcissism” You get to be the center of the universe for a while. “Good-enough parenting:” -You can’t be a perfect parent -Some frustration is normal for baby KEY: Caregivers who do their best to figure out what baby needs, and provide it on a consistent basis . This is the cornerstone for good attachment, empathy, a conscience, and the capacity to manage emotions. Also, for the capacity to love. Freud: “The ego is first and foremost a bodily ego.” -Our need for TOUCH (Harlow, anyone?) -Pleasure in the whole body, the skin, sucking, touching, etc. -Sexual reflexes : boys born with erections, baby girls with vaginal lubrication and genital swelling. -Kinsey noted orgasm-like behaviors in infants (girls, around 4 months; boys, around 5 months but no ejaculation). -6-12-month-old infants often display acts of autoeroticism (self-pleasuring). -Many babies and toddlers masturbate; this should not be translated as meaning the same as sexuality later on in life. -These are merely experiences of physical pleasure and tension reduction.
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Your job: to teach them about enjoying their bodies safely and respectfully.
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