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sexuality and development

             There are four main stages in sexual development. The first is from birth to age six, when in this stage, the growth of the body is of the highest importance. Sexual interests, curiosity and even arousal are expressed spontaneously, until the child has learned to repress or hide their sexual interests.
             The second stage of sexual development is from approximately age six until some time around age twelve, when the child enters the puberty stage. When the child is in this stage, growth of the body slows down; by this time the child has all the basic motor functions, and has fine tuned them as well. The child's sexual desires continue, although most children are careful about displaying there sexual behaviors. The child's needs for privacy and independence are the most noticeable characteristic of this age. .
             The third stage puberty to adolescence, the ages on this stage vary from child to child, although a ballpark figure would be ages thirteen to fifteen. Hormones kick into high gear during this stage, and the body is once again growing in rapid growth spurts. Sexual sensations increase in intensity, and the child is awash in a sea of new thoughts and feelings. Sexual behavior is not always easy to control, as the sex drive is now kicking into high gear. Sexual behavior becomes a preoccupation for many children, and can be observed as poor social judgment, increased risk taking, and lack of common sense or discrimination.
             The forth stage of sexual development is from mid to late adolescence, and again the age is varied from child to child, but the approximate age is around sixteen to seventeen. Body growth slows or even stops, and the hormones are getting to a stage were they are balanced. Sexual behavior becomes a part of the self image, and sexual response is kept in check through masturbation or partner sex, and sexual gratification becomes a part of the mental context of a relationship.

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