Childhood Sexuality
& Children’s Sexual
Behavior Issues
Jane F. Gilgun, PhD, LICSW
School of Social Work
University of Min...
Topics
• Sexual Development of Children
• Typologies of Children with Sexual
Behavior Issues
• Family Issues Related to Ch...
Children’s Sexual Behaviors
• Begin in womb
• Continue over the life course
Children’s Sexual Behaviors
• Sex in the US culture
–Taboo
–Fascinating
Children’s Sexual Behaviors
• Sex in US culture
–Taboo
–Fascinating
–Linked to violence
–Rarely life-enhancing
A Continuum of Child Sexual
Behaviors
• Developmentally Appropriate
• Inappropriate but Easily Correctable
• Inappropriate...
Johnson’s Clinical Typology
of Child Sexual Behaviors
• Natural and Healthy
• Of Concern
• Seek Professional Help
Source: ...
Johnson’s Clinical Continuum
of Child Sexual Behaviors
• Natural and healthy
• Sexually reactive
• Children who molest
Sou...
Johnson’s Clinical Continuum
of Child Sexual Behaviors
• Natural and healthy
• Sexually reactive
• Children who molest
Sou...
A Clinical Continuum
of Sexualized Behaviors
Normal Sexual Sexually Extensive Mutual Children
Exploration Reactive Sexual ...
A General Guideline
for Assessment
• Assess child, family, and other
ecologies
– Identify risks
– Identify protective proc...
A General Guideline
for Assessment
• Assess child, family, and other ecologies
• Identify risks
• Identify protective proc...
Assessment
• Initial Considerations
– What is being assessed?
– Who does assessments?
– Are assessments in different setti...
Information Needed
from Multiple Sources
• See Johnson (2004) assessment
• Schroeder & Gordon (2004)
• For Childhood Sexua...
Children with Sexual Behavior
Issues: Treatment
• Psychoeducation and Group Treatment
• Comprehensive Programs
• Treatment...
Comprehensive Programs
• Individual treatment
– With parental involvement
• Peer group
– With parental involvement
• Famil...
Family Therapy
– Can do assessment of family dynamics
– Can teach family new ways of interacting
• Direct instruction
• Pr...
Family Therapy
• Kids can’t do what parents can’t do.
– Mother:
• You told me Daddy was touching you sexually. I
thought y...
Some Treatment Exercises
for Children’s Psychoeducation
• Anger pyramid.
• Feelings charades.
• Collages.
• Empathy letter...
Indicators that Children are Learning
to Manage Their Sexual Behaviors
• Children show assertiveness.
• Previous taboo top...
Indicators that Children are Learning
to Manage Their Sexual Behaviors
• Signs of attachment to others
• Affect becomes mo...
Some Therapeutic Issues
• Importance of “Neutrality”
– What does the term mean?
• Lot of case management
• Need for on-goi...
Some Therapeutic Issues
• We’re good at soothing and comforting
• How much training do we have in dealing
with clients who...
Self-Reflection
• Memories related to sexuality
– Early
– Funny
– Confusing
– Evokes strong emotions
• Who taught you the ...
Emotional Costs of Work
with Families Where Children
Have Issues Related
to Sexual Abuse
• Sometimes there is nothing you ...
Children with Sexual Behavior Issues
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Children with Sexual Behavior Issues

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Many people don't know what to do when children behave in sexual ways. This slideshow provides important information.

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Children with Sexual Behavior Issues

  1. 1. Childhood Sexuality & Children’s Sexual Behavior Issues Jane F. Gilgun, PhD, LICSW School of Social Work University of Minnesota, Twin Cities jgilgun@umn.edu October 30, 2004
  2. 2. Topics • Sexual Development of Children • Typologies of Children with Sexual Behavior Issues • Family Issues Related to Children’s Sexual Behaviors
  3. 3. Children’s Sexual Behaviors • Begin in womb • Continue over the life course
  4. 4. Children’s Sexual Behaviors • Sex in the US culture –Taboo –Fascinating
  5. 5. Children’s Sexual Behaviors • Sex in US culture –Taboo –Fascinating –Linked to violence –Rarely life-enhancing
  6. 6. A Continuum of Child Sexual Behaviors • Developmentally Appropriate • Inappropriate but Easily Correctable • Inappropriate and Problematic –Origin not known –Abuse-reactive • Sexually manipulative • Sexually abusive
  7. 7. Johnson’s Clinical Typology of Child Sexual Behaviors • Natural and Healthy • Of Concern • Seek Professional Help Source: Johnson, Toni Cavanagh (n.d.). Understanding children’s sexual behaviors: What’s natural and healthy. www.TCavJohn.com
  8. 8. Johnson’s Clinical Continuum of Child Sexual Behaviors • Natural and healthy • Sexually reactive • Children who molest Source: Johnson, Toni Cavanagh (n.d.). Understanding children’s sexual behaviors: What’s natural and healthy. www.TCavJohn.com
  9. 9. Johnson’s Clinical Continuum of Child Sexual Behaviors • Natural and healthy • Sexually reactive • Children who molest Source: Johnson, Toni Cavanagh (n.d.). Understanding children’s sexual behaviors: What’s natural and healthy. www.TCavJohn.com
  10. 10. A Clinical Continuum of Sexualized Behaviors Normal Sexual Sexually Extensive Mutual Children Exploration Reactive Sexual Behaviors Who Molest Source: Gil & Johnson (1993)
  11. 11. A General Guideline for Assessment • Assess child, family, and other ecologies – Identify risks – Identify protective processes
  12. 12. A General Guideline for Assessment • Assess child, family, and other ecologies • Identify risks • Identify protective processes • How can treatment build on protective processes to manage risks?
  13. 13. Assessment • Initial Considerations – What is being assessed? – Who does assessments? – Are assessments in different settings the same? – Sharing information so as to not duplicate and harm children and their families
  14. 14. Information Needed from Multiple Sources • See Johnson (2004) assessment • Schroeder & Gordon (2004) • For Childhood Sexual Issues – Assessment must have a major component on development and course of the behaviors – Treatment must focus on sexual issues and other issues that directly affect the difficulties related to the sexual issues
  15. 15. Children with Sexual Behavior Issues: Treatment • Psychoeducation and Group Treatment • Comprehensive Programs • Treatment Exercises • Indicators that Children are Learning to Manage Their Sexual Behaviors • Emotional Costs of Work with Families Where Children Have Sexual Behavior Issues
  16. 16. Comprehensive Programs • Individual treatment – With parental involvement • Peer group – With parental involvement • Family Therapy • Couples Therapy • Case Management • Multiple Family Groups • Psychoeducation throughout
  17. 17. Family Therapy – Can do assessment of family dynamics – Can teach family new ways of interacting • Direct instruction • Practice • By their observation of you
  18. 18. Family Therapy • Kids can’t do what parents can’t do. – Mother: • You told me Daddy was touching you sexually. I thought you were imagining it. I was wrong. I’m so sorry.
  19. 19. Some Treatment Exercises for Children’s Psychoeducation • Anger pyramid. • Feelings charades. • Collages. • Empathy letters. • Apology letters. • Reconciliation sessions.
  20. 20. Indicators that Children are Learning to Manage Their Sexual Behaviors • Children show assertiveness. • Previous taboo topics are on the table. • Children can ask questions that they were too ashamed to ask in the past. • Children tell on themselves. • Humor
  21. 21. Indicators that Children are Learning to Manage Their Sexual Behaviors • Signs of attachment to others • Affect becomes more animated. • Emotions and cognitions are connected. • Takes responsibility for their behaviors • Empathy for victims. • Parents set limits.
  22. 22. Some Therapeutic Issues • Importance of “Neutrality” – What does the term mean? • Lot of case management • Need for on-going consultation
  23. 23. Some Therapeutic Issues • We’re good at soothing and comforting • How much training do we have in dealing with clients who – sexualize us? – manipulate us? – trigger anger, fear, dread in us?
  24. 24. Self-Reflection • Memories related to sexuality – Early – Funny – Confusing – Evokes strong emotions • Who taught you the difference between sex as a way of “getting rocks off” and communicating intimacy • What are the multiple meanings of sexuality?
  25. 25. Emotional Costs of Work with Families Where Children Have Issues Related to Sexual Abuse • Sometimes there is nothing you can do • You don’t know longer-term outcome • Own “soul wounds” are stirred up

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