Sexual Behaviors - K-4th

Understanding What is Normal & When to Be Concerned


Green Light: Natural & Expected


  • Curious about genitals, breasts, intercourse, babies, takes opportunity to see nude people including pictures
  • Watching/peeking at people during bathroom functions
  • Uses "dirty" words for bathroom functions, sex, and genitals
  • Plays doctor, inspecting other people's bodies
  • Interested in babies and birth
  • Interested in showing/touching "privates" to other children and having his/her seen/touched by children of the same age
  • Interested in urination and defecation
  • Touches/rubs own genitalia when going to sleep, tense, excited, or afraid. (Soothing mechanism)
  • Find opposite gender children "gross" or have "cooties," plays chasing games
  • Plays house and simulates all roles of mommy and daddy
  • Talks about sex with peers, having a "boy" or "girl" friend, plays games with peers related to sex and sexuality
  • More concerned about personal privacy in bathroom/changing clothes
  • Draws genitals on human figures for artistic expression/figure is being portrayed nude
  • Pretends to be the opposite gender
  • Kisses familiar adults and children, allows kisses by same

Yellow Light: Of Concern


  • Has fear/anxiety about sex or sexual topics
  • Continues to get caught watching others during bathroom functions
  • Continues using "dirty" words despite being told no, being punished, parents using appropriate language themselves
  • Frequently plays doctor despite being told no
  • Uses "dirty" language when other children complain
  • Sex talk gets child in trouble, makes sexual sounds such as moans or sighs, romanticizes relationships
  • Becomes very upset when seen in bathroom/changing clothes
  • Continuous fascination with genitals, nude pictures, seeing nude people, drawing genitals on some nude figures but not all and some on clothed figures with disproportionate genitals
  • Wants to be opposite gender
  • Wants to play games with much younger/older children related to sex and sexuality
  • Wants to compare genitals to much younger/older people
  • Continuously wants to touch "private parts" of other children, tries to engage in oral, anal, or vaginal sex
  • French kissing-talks in a sexualized manner to others, fearful of hugs and kisses by adults, gets upset with public displays of affection, kisses unfamiliar adults or children