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Question
Posted by: Christa | 2012/05/05

Appropriate development

Doc.....what is normal appropriate sexual development for 9 yr old boys nowadays!.
I caught my son watching inappropriate photo''s and video''s on the net....so now everything is blocked!
Dont know how but caught him again! Maybe he used my iPad while I was showering or something!
We were able to have a valuable discussion about it....his reason is that he is curious how everything works and LOOKS! OMW!!!!
So we have a nice age appropriate book regarding sexual development....the whole thing, explained and all...we talked, answered questions, exct. Then today he told me his one friend has photo''s of sexy girls in bikini''s hidden in his cupboard.....and that he also want pics in his cupboard!
In my days we only started with this around age 14!!!!!! I remember my photo of Rigerd Gere....in his jeans!
Is it ok to allow such young boys these kind of behaviour...putting bikini girls in their cupboard......I think its disrespectfull.....but I also know its nature! Or will this push him into things he is to young for.....He has a little brother of 4 yrs old.......
Thanx

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hmm. The age of physical puberty has for some time been dropping, for boys and maybe a bit more for girls, but the age of what we might call mental / social puberty, let alone maturity, isn't really dropping at all. Also, kids tend to do what's feasible, and to look at what's available, especially when encouraged by the gossip and claims of school-mates. And they're very naturally curious about how things look ( especially the wobbly bits we tell them they mustnt look at ) and how they work, and maybe the more so where this isn't something they learn young enough ( if at all ) from their parents.
You were very wise to use the situation, not as a catastrophe, but as an invitation and opportunity to provide detailed accurate information.
The curioisity about sexual matters has always occurred, naturally, and from a reasonably young age. What has maybe shifted has been the idea of people being "sexy" which kids didn't in the past consider a valid or relevant descriptor until later in life.
Talk further with him about the "sexy pictures" : what they mean to him, if he understands why some people think them demeaning and disrespectful to women ; whether he feels it is important to him to imitate his friend, so as to demonstrate that he is also "cool". Discuss issues of peer pressure, and why its a good idea to feel confident enough in oneself to resist it where its pressure towards something really wrong, but explain why you feel its OK if he really wants some such pictures.
One of my concerns about the earlier sexualization of kids, is that they get to spend less time on the important task and enjoyment, of being children, rather than small adults, doing stuff that they have decades ahead of them to do, decades in which its not so easy to just play and enjoy things as a child

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Posted by: Dolly | 2012/05/26

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Reply to Dolly
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/06

Hmm. The age of physical puberty has for some time been dropping, for boys and maybe a bit more for girls, but the age of what we might call mental / social puberty, let alone maturity, isn't really dropping at all. Also, kids tend to do what's feasible, and to look at what's available, especially when encouraged by the gossip and claims of school-mates. And they're very naturally curious about how things look ( especially the wobbly bits we tell them they mustnt look at ) and how they work, and maybe the more so where this isn't something they learn young enough ( if at all ) from their parents.
You were very wise to use the situation, not as a catastrophe, but as an invitation and opportunity to provide detailed accurate information.
The curioisity about sexual matters has always occurred, naturally, and from a reasonably young age. What has maybe shifted has been the idea of people being "sexy" which kids didn't in the past consider a valid or relevant descriptor until later in life.
Talk further with him about the "sexy pictures" : what they mean to him, if he understands why some people think them demeaning and disrespectful to women ; whether he feels it is important to him to imitate his friend, so as to demonstrate that he is also "cool". Discuss issues of peer pressure, and why its a good idea to feel confident enough in oneself to resist it where its pressure towards something really wrong, but explain why you feel its OK if he really wants some such pictures.
One of my concerns about the earlier sexualization of kids, is that they get to spend less time on the important task and enjoyment, of being children, rather than small adults, doing stuff that they have decades ahead of them to do, decades in which its not so easy to just play and enjoy things as a child

Reply to cybershrink

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