The issue of childhood sexuality is controversial, and one which still makes many people uncomfortable. But, although childhood sexuality is very different to that of the mature adult, there is little doubt that humans are sexual beings from birth. Toddlers, and even babies as young as three to five months old might touch their genitals. Parents can be assured that this activity is quite normal, and the child finds it soothing and relaxing.
Puberty is accompanied by a surge of interest in sex. During this period, more girls gain experience with masturbation, although they generally start masturbating regularly later than boys. Because preadolescents tend to play with others of their own sex, early sexual exploration and experience may happen with other members of the same sex. By age 12 or 13, some young adolescents pair off and begin dating and/or "making out," but overt sexual behaviour with the opposite sex is still the exception. The prospect of having intercourse is viewed with distaste by many preadolescent or very young adolescent girls.