Shared Flashcard Set


Sexual Development
Springer - Social Work ASWB Master's Exam
Social Work

Additional Social Work Flashcards




Sexuality in infants and toddlers
- Children are sexual even before birth
- Males can have erections while still in the uterus
- Infants touch and rub their genitals because it provides pleasure
- Little boys and girls can experience orgasm from masturbation
- By about age 2, children know their own gender
- They are aware of differences in the genitals of males and females and in how males and females urinate
Sexuality in children (age 3–7)
- may practice urinating in different positions
- highly affectionate and enjoy hugging other children and adults
-may imitate adult social and sexual behaviors, such as holding hands and kissing
- Many young children play “doctor” during this stage, looking at other children’s genitals and showing theirs
- This is normal curiosity
- By age 5 or 6, most children become more modest and private about dressing and bathing
- aware of marriage and understand living together, based on their family experience
- may role play about being married or having a partner while they “play house.”
- Most sex play at this age happens because of curiosity
Sexuality in preadolescent youth (age 8–12)
- Puberty
- begins between the ages of 9 and 12 for most children
- Girls begin to grow breast buds and pubic hair as early as 9 or 10
- Boys’ development of the penis and testicles usually begins between 10 and 11
- Children become more self-conscious about their bodies at this age and often feel uncomfortable undressing in front of others
- Masturbation increases during these years
- often have many questions about sex/sexuality
- have heard about sexual intercourse, homosexuality, rape, and incest, and they want to know more
- The idea of actually having sexual intercourse, however, is unpleasant to most preadolescent boys and girls
- Same-gender sexual behavior can occur at this age
- Same-gender sexual behavior is unrelated to a child’s sexual orientation
- Some group dating occurs at this age
- By age 12 or 13, some young adolescents may pair off and begin dating and/or “making out
-many very young teens do practice sexual behaviors other than vaginal intercourse, such as petting to orgasm and oral sex
Sexuality in adolescent youth (age 13–19)
- experience increased interest in romantic and sexual relationships and in genital sex behaviors
- they experience strong emotional attachments to romantic partners and find it natural to express their feelings within sexual relationships
- Overall, most adolescents explore relationships with one another, fall in and out of love, and participate in sexual intercourse before the age of 20
Adult sexuality
Adult sexual behaviors are extremely varied and, in most cases, remain part of an adult’s life until death. Although adult men and women go through some sexual changes as they age, they do not lose their desire or their ability for sexual expression. Even among the very old, the need for touch and intimacy remains, although the desire and ability to have sexual intercourse may lessen.
- affects their sexuality in that their ovaries no longer release eggs and their bodies no longer produce estrogen
- Vaginal walls become thinner
- less vaginal lubrication
- entrance to the vagina becomes smaller
- vaginal intercourse may be painful
- estrogen replacement therapy can relieve physical and emotional side effects of menopause
- Use of vaginal lubricants can also make vaginal intercourse easier
- women are able to have pleasurable sexual intercourse and to experience orgasm for their entire lives
Adult male changes in sexuality
- not at such a predictable time as with menopause in women
- testicles slow testosterone production after age 25 or so
- Erections may occur more slowly once testosterone production slows
- become less able to have another erection after an orgasm and may take up to 24 hours to achieve and sustain another erection
- amount of semen released during ejaculation also decreases
- men are capable of fathering a baby even when they are in their 80s and 90s
- Some older men develop an enlarged or cancerous prostate gland
- If doctors deem it necessary to remove the prostate gland, a man’s ability to have an erection or an orgasm is normally unaffected
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