Sexual Abuse: Knowing About Sex at Too Young an Age

Skip to the navigation

Topic Overview

A child may have knowledge of sex that isn't appropriate for the child's age. This may be expressed by the amount of detail a child gives about sexual acts that should not be familiar to him or her. For example, a 3-year-old child should not be able to describe in detail what happens during sexual intercourse. Young children who have firsthand knowledge of sexual acts likely have been sexually abused or have been exposed to sexual activity. This exposure can be an enticed or forced witnessing of sexual behavior. It may happen in person or through media sources, such as pornographic videos.

When a young child acts in a way that shows an awareness of sexuality or asks questions about sex that are far too advanced for his or her age, consider it a warning sign of sexual abuse.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

Current as of: November 14, 2014