Sunday, April 8, 2012

Children and Masturbation

Its important to remind ourselves that masturbation is not a sexual act in the mind of a child. Many children discover their genitalia between 6-11 months old, usually during bath time, diaper changes or possibly as a result of playing in their diapers during alone time. Most times, its used as a means of self-comfort. Its very common as most children regularly masturbate in private by age 5-6 years old. Any doctor would tell you that this is very normal and healthy, generally with no cause for concern.

However, there are signs to look for that maybe associated with some form of abuse or trauma.
But, as a parent, you have to look for signs that there may be something wrong. After all, chronic masturbation can be symptomatic of a much deeper physical or emotional issue. Children at this young age aren't naturally aware of the two-sidedness of intercourse and penetrative acts, so this may be a sign of exposure to actions or material that isn't age appropriate. Also, simulating sexual actions/positions or being intrusive/invasive to other children is a problem because they may cause a certain level of trauma to other children around them. Most importantly are the medical repercussions, such as rashes, infections, bruising, etc. If any of these are discovered, contact a medical professional immediately!

This is just an opinion, but I feel like unless your child is obsessively masturbating or displaying disturbing behaviors, especially in public places, this is a very natural and innocent type of behavior.

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