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Development of sexual identity in children

Development of sexual identity in children



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The development of sexual identity is a complex process It begins at the moment of conception and goes through different phases throughout the development of all children. Biological, cognitive, emotional and social factors are involved in this process. Sexual identity is the way we identify ourselves (male or female or a mixture of both) and includes our sexual orientation.

Sexual identity allows us to formulate a concept of ourselves formed on the basis of our sex, gender and sexual orientation to function socially according to this perception.

After birth, sexual identity is built and formed from many factors, one of them is the child's relationship with his or her mother and father, with the family, with schoolmates and with their environment in general.

Between the ages of 2 and a half and 3 boys and girls they begin to be interested in their genital differences. They realize that there is something in them that makes them different and they start the questions' What is this? Or what is this for? ' in relation to his external genitalia. It is the moment of the development of your gender identity, I am a boy or I am a girl. But sexual identity as such, which is a more complex concept, is not fully developed until late childhood or early adolescence, in which biological, cognitive and environmental factors influence.

Knowledge of the role of gender (pattern or set of behaviors considered appropriate for men and women within a given culture) implies awareness of the concepts of boys and girls and their culturally defined stereotypes: what a boy or girl usually does, what or what to play with or how he usually dresses.

Children generally understand these basic concepts boy-girl by 2 years. Gender labeling in toys by age 3 and awareness of personality traits of sexual typology by age 5. As boys and girls get older, they increasingly adopt the socially determined gender roles that we can observe in their preferences: what they like to do, what attracts them, how they like to behave… On this basis the sexual identity of boys and girls is built.

The development of sexual identity therefore encompasses cognitive, emotional and social factors and it is already in the late childhood or preadolescence stage that most children begin to experience feelings of sexual desire and attraction. It is at this moment when the concept of one's sexual identity is gaining more force. The adolescent is discovering his own body at the same time as he is discovering his feelings, tastes and preferences and consequently his sexual identity.

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Video: Gender Identity and Sexual Identity in the Classroom (August 2022).