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By: Khushbu Patel

Open Book with pages

Pexels [Book by Caio, CC0]

Children often display behaviors considered sexualized by the adults observing them. It is important for parents and professionals to understand the various factors constituting normal and concerning sexualized behavior. This will help keep children safe and flourishing throughout their childhood and youth.

Discussing the topic of sexual behavior with children can be challenging for adults. Children are curious creatures about many different topics such as their bodies and sex. One great resource we found, that is kid and teen friendly, is the book “It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health” by Robie Harris. This is an excellent book for children and teens on exploring sex, bodies, puberty, babies, and staying sexually healthy. It also helps create an opportunity for parents and professionals to discuss these topics with youth. To learn more about this book and author, click here.

For more information on sexual behaviors in children, be sure to listen to our OneOp Anchored podcast episode, A Discussion with Dr. Gregory Leskin about Problematic Sexualized Behaviors in Children and Youth. This podcast episode explores the challenges with inappropriate sexual behaviors and provides resources for families and professionals to promote healthy sexuality.

And also be sure to visit our Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth Series homepage, with plenty of programming coming up throughout the rest of 2019 and on into 2020!

*Revised on 9/10/19 to reflect series title change


Harris, R. (2009). It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. Retrieved from:

This post was written by members of the OneOp Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Learn more about us at, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter.  Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.