In the current essay I would like to consider the issue of childhood sexuality. To begin with, it should be noted that children’s sexuality is a sexual aspect of human development, primarily affecting the behavior of children in sexual tendencies of mankind. It also addresses the development of the child as an individual of the society in terms of development of the sexual aspect of his life and communication with others. Undoubtedly, childhood sexuality is an extremely important stage of human development and different deviations in this aspect can have a disastrous effect not only to this particular person but also to all his future victims, as well as their families. In the framework of this essay I would like to analyze the case of Jimmy Sandusky, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for having sex with children.
Jimmy Sandusky, a former football coach assistant from Pennsylvania was found guilty for sexual abuse of 10 boys with overall 45 episodes. Without any doubts, with terrible physical pain, these children received huge psychological traumas that will affect their lives, according to NBC News (2012). Most likely, Sandusky received some kind of psychological trauma himself during his childhood sexuality stage. Further, I would like to provide the theory of sexual development of children that can be classified as belonging to the two points of view. Powell (2007) argues that first point of view suggests that sexuality is a consequence of biology. Accordingly, since the cause is human nature, not normal sexual development are different for countries and cultures, and biological trends in the sexuality of children are similar for all cultures to model the healthy development of the child. This approach is most often used in medicine and the study of children’s sexual development. Second point of view, in turn, argues that sexuality is a consequence of the influence of the larger society (media, school community, etc.).
It should be mentioned that the term children’s sexuality has been described by Sigmund Freud in “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality” (1905), where he outlined the circuit theory of psychosexual development rights. It should be noted that a child goes through five stages of psychosexual development:
- Oral phase (0 – 1.5 years) – the first stage of infantile sexuality, in which the baby’s mouth serves as the primary source of satisfaction in the process of sucking (mom’s breast, fingers) and swallowing.
- Anal phase (1.5 – 3.5 years) – the second stage of infantile sexuality, where the child learns to control his acts of defecation, while experiencing the satisfaction of exercising control over their bodies. During this period, the child learns to use the toilet and cleanliness, as well as the ability to restrain the urge to defecation. If parents have problems in the relationship with child (when, for instance, a child from the principle refusing to poop in the potty, and then pooping in his pants, experiencing satisfaction from the fact that he “annoy” her mother) can lead to the development of the child’s so-called “anal character” which manifests itself in greed, pedantry and perfectionism.
- Phallic phase (3.5 – 6 years) – the third stage of infantile sexuality. At this stage, the child begins to explore his body, to consider and to touch his sexual organs. On this stage a child is interested in the parent of the opposite sex, identifies himself with the parent of the same sex and instilling certain sex role.
- The lag phase (6 – 12 years) – the fourth stage of infantile sexuality, characterized by reduced sexual interest. Being cut off from the sexual aim, the energy is transferred to the development of the libido human experience embodied in science and culture, as well as the establishment of friendly relations with peers and adults outside of family environment.
- Genital phase – the final stage of Freud’s psychosexual concept. This stage is characterized by the mature sexual relationship (reached in adolescence), this view has been illustrated in Freud (1991 ).
It is essential to note that Sandfort (2009) makes the following important point. Firstly, sexuality does not begin with puberty, but it is clearly seen almost from birth. Secondly, it is necessary to draw a sharp distinction between two concepts: sexual and genital. The first is broader and encompasses many activities that have nothing in common with sexual organs.
Also, Klein (2010) considers mouth as first organ, which is associated with positive emotions. The baby tends to pleasure, which is independent from the need for food and can be called sexy. In turn, particularly important in the phallic phase is the Oedipus complex (Greek myth of Oedipus, who killed his father and married his mother, unaware of his family relationship with them). Freud says that in the age of 3 to 5 years, boys experience sexually attractiveness to their mothers. In addition, boys found a tendency to see their fathers as dangerous rivals. Often, associated with the Oedipus complex, conflict is resolved as the boy gradually identifies with his father and begins to assimilate its values and opinions (the formation of the superego). For girls there is so-called Electra complex.
It is important to note that for different reasons, the individual may focus on the development of a children’s stage. In some cases, this stage can be blocked by its further emotional and psychosexual development. This view has been supported in the work of Morgan (2008). Adults can also return to earlier stages of development and I believe that this is the Jimmy Sandusky’s case. Freud calls this process regression. Particularly, sexual deviation can be understood as related to the choice of sexual object of a different kind than that which is considered normal for adult life. For instance, Sandusky has chosen boys because his work was closely connected with interaction with many boys. Since distortions have prototypes in various child sexual objects, Freud characterizes childhood sexuality as “polymorphic perversion”, which can be characterized by diverse variations. Consequently, the “perversion” of adults is related to their various sexual activities as a child.
All in all, I would like to say that childhood sexuality is extremely important component of maturation process and parent’s task is to secure normal development of a child and prevent further deviations. Unfortunately, there are parents that had not succeed in this and, as a result, the whole nation is still shocked with Jimmy Sandusky and his deeds. Apparently, as a child, we received a psychological trauma, which caused deviations in his psychics. As a fact, ten boys were involved in 45 episodes of child abuse. I am convinced that this situation should influence parents in all America and some conclusions needs to be done. In particular, there are several stage of childhood sexuality, which include: oral, anal, phallic, lag and genital phases. In my opinion, it is essential for parents to be aware of these stages in their children’s development and proper respond it, without causing psychological traumas.