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Children´s Sexual Behaviour

Abstract: Exploring sexual organs is natural for children. But since our culture does not allow this, you will have to set limits for what you allow your children to do.

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Children´s Sexual Behaviour

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question  Local help Info

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Written by: Gunborg Palme
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 29 Aug 2017.

Is it normal and acceptable that young children play sexual games? I have a 5 year old daughter and a 2 year old daughter. My 5 year old has 3 separate times licked my 2 year old between her legs. I have asked her if anyone has ever done that to her and she said no. The first time she did it was in the bath, she said that they were playing cat and that she saw a cat do it on TV. I'm very concerned and not sure how to handle this, or who I should talk to?


Exploring the world, including the sexual organs, is natural for a child. What your five-year old is doing is thus not in any way unnatural. Think of dogs and cats, who very often sniff at each other's behinds. But in our culture, such behaviour is not accepted. Because of this, you need to set limits for her. Tell her in a gentle, non-anxious manner that she should not do this with her younger sister.

I have had many patients who have been subject to sexual abuse from elder siblings. They are often angry at their parents for not protecting them.

Do not let the children have a bath together. Do not let them sleep in the same room. Give the younger daughter long trousers which are not easy to take off. Try to keep the children in your sight, if possible. Do not let them be alone. Do all of this in a discreet way, so that you will not upset or embarrass your older girl.

It is important that the older girl gets stimulation and finds fun and meaningful things to do. If she goes to kindergarten, she can learn captivating things to do. You could buy a book about children's playing and activities, which can give you tips on how to keep your older daughter interested in meaningful and developmental activities.

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