Unit 2.2 DB: Children and Sexuality 2 Responses

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 response to your peers, consider the messages received and share your experiences, both similar and different. 



1. The appropriate age to begin talking to children about sexuality is a matter of individual judgment, considering the child's developmental readiness, cultural norms, and family values. However, experts generally recommend starting conversations about sexuality early, in an age-appropriate manner, and gradually building upon this foundation over time. Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development provide a helpful framework for understanding the progression of these conversations and the developmental tasks associated with each stage.

During Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, parents play a crucial role in shaping their children's understanding of sexuality. In the Trust vs. Mistrust stage (birth to 18 months), caregivers establish the foundation for future discussions by providing affection and using appropriate language to describe body parts. Toddlers in the Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt stage (18 months to 3 years) begin exploring their bodies, and parents can teach them about boundaries and bodily autonomy. Preschoolers in the Initiative vs. Guilt stage (3 to 5 years) develop curiosity about reproduction, and parents can introduce basic information about consent and healthy relationships. School-age children in the Industry vs. Inferiority stage (6 to 11 years) become more aware of gender differences and benefit from accurate information about puberty and body positivity. During adolescence, in the Identity vs. Role Confusion stage (12 to 18 years), open communication and guidance on relationships, sexuality, and consent are essential. By adapting discussions to their children's developmental stages, parents can support healthy sexual development and equip them with the knowledge and skills to navigate their sexual journey confidently (Cherry, 2022).


2.  Sexuality is a wide-ranging term that can include someone's ideas about their gender and sexual orientation. Parents should talk to their children about sexuality as early as 3 years old. Sexuality discussions can be centered on body parts, boundaries, and respect for oneself and others, and should be adapted to the child's developmental stage. Beginning in infancy, when trust is established through the fulfillment of basic requirements, parents can build trust and openness by responding to their children's curiosity about their bodies age-appropriately. Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust (Infancy from birth to 18 months), Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame and doubt (Toddler years from 18 months to three years), Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt (Preschool years from three to five), Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority (Middle school years from six to 11), Stage 5: Identity vs. Confusion (Teen years from 12 to 18), Stage 6: Intimacy vs. Isolation (Young adult years from 18 to 40), Stage 7: Generative vs. Stagnation (Middle age from 40 to 65), Stage 8: Integrity vs Despair (Older adulthood from 65 to death). Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development provide a valuable framework for understanding how parents can engage in sexuality conversations with their children. Erickson believes that personality development takes place through a life span. In Erikson's psychosocial development theory, each stage presents a unique set of challenges and tasks that individuals must navigate to develop a sense of self and build healthy relationships with others. At the age-appropriate stages, addressing sexuality can enhance the psychological well-being.  

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