Sexual Behaviour: Problems in young children
It is normal for young children to engage in various types of sexual exploration and play. For example, preschoolers, toddlers and even infants commonly touch their own genitals for pleasure, and young children sometimes examine each other's bodies while "playing doctor" with a relative or a friend of the same age. As long as these sexual explorations are light-hearted and spontaneous, and do not involve coercion on the part of either child, such behaviours are typically harmless.
The following types of behaviour are not common in young children and may be signs that a child has been sexually abused:
If you have concerns about your child's sexual behaviour, consult your child's physician. If you suspect your child has been sexually abused, you must contact your local Children's Aid Society. If you are in Canada, and you wish to speak to a counsellor about this, contact Parent Help Line, 1-888-603-9100.