It's vital that your young person understands what is considered inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Since the #MeToo movement in 2017, a lot has changed in terms of consent and what is considered inappropriate sexual behaviour in today’s society.
You may have thought of it as the touch or use of sexual body parts such as genitals, anus, buttocks, and breasts – and you would be correct in thinking that.
However, inappropriate sexual behaviour now extends to other activities such as:
Signs that your young person doesn’t understand the concept of inappropriate sexual behaviour:
- When a young person excessively and compulsively touches their private parts in public places sometimes causing pain and harm without stopping.
- Excessive interest in being naked or staring at others who are naked
- Frequently showing private parts to other children or engaging in sexual behaviour which upsets other children
- Sexual interest or touching without permission or consent
- Using aggression, force, or pressurising others
- Sexting or distributing sexually explicit images
- Viewing or engaging in pornography
- When the behaviour begins to affect their daily life, relationships, or schoolwork.
- Showing behaviour that is inappropriate to their age (early sexualization)
It’s perfectly normal and healthy for children and young people to have an interest in sex or be curious about the changes that happen during puberty.
It’s important to answer their questions and keep the lines of communication open so that they don’t go looking to their peers or online for information about sex.