Sexual Concerns of Childhood

  • James W. Maddock
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


Children enter the world as sexed beings. Prenatal processes have established the basis for a gender identity (in most cases) as well as the capacity for erotically stimulating interaction with the environment. From the moment of birth, significant persons in the infant’s environment respond to the individual as a male or female. An elaborate psychosocial network forms that supports the perceived biological sex of the child. This network will provide more or less flexible choices of role-related behaviors as the child grows and struggles to develop a coherent, socially acceptable, but personally unique, sexual identity (Money and Erhardt, 1972). Numerous complexities and challenges lie along the road toward adult sexual identity. This chapter will focus primarily on erotic aspects of childhood socialization, whereas later chapters (4 and 6) will examine the pitfalls and problems of gender identity formation and sex-role socialization.


Sexual Behavior Sexual Concern Toilet Training Social Maladjustment Explicit Sexual Material 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Maddock
    • 1
  1. 1.Meta Resources, P. A., and Department of Family Social Science and School of Public HealthUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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