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Child Abuse Negl. 2000 Jan;24(1):33-48.

Childhood sexuality: a decade of study. Part I--research and curriculum development.

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  • The C. Henry Kempe National Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

One goal of the Kempe Center's Perpetration Prevention Program has been to increase the awareness and competence of professionals and parents in understanding and responding to the sexual behaviors of children in order to reduce the risk of children developing sexually abusive patterns of behavior. A decade of exploration and the development of curricula is reviewed in this paper.

METHOD:

The evolving body of literature relevant to childhood sexuality and sexually abusive behaviors in childhood was reviewed. Several new sources of information and development of a teaching model for adults are described.

RESULTS:

Children engage in a wide range of sexual behaviors, some of which may be observed by or reported to adults. Research encompassing diverse samples and methods converges to describe what is developmentally expected and what might be problematic. Professionals need to be trained to evaluate and respond to these behaviors objectively, without relying on the personal beliefs or values of individuals.

CONCLUSION:

Children have a legitimate need for validation and correction of sexual learning. Adults often have not been trained to respond consistently to children's behaviors, but are eager to obtain more information.

PMID:
10660008
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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