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Eroticism in Infancy and Childhood

Floyd M. Martinson
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 12, No. 4 (Nov., 1976), pp. 251-262
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3811331
Page Count: 12
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Eroticism in Infancy and Childhood
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Abstract

The capacity for sensate experience develops very early in life, begining prenatally. What the child lacks is opportunity, not capacity. Yet children are denied the full range of sexual experiences consistent with their capacity. At least this is true of children brought up in secretive and repressive societies. On the other hand, the full range of cognitive capacity in humans does not emerge during childhood and is not available until adolescence at best. Management of the sexual life at a rational level appears difficult to attain for persons brought up in secretive repressive societies. Therefore much more thought and attention has to go into the development of quality sex education, education that takes into account the child's cognitive capacity plus any developmental lag in learning resulting from lack of prior sexual experience or the negative effects of furtive sexual encounters and negative parental reactions to such encounters.

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