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Worried about 10-year old son's sexuality
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Worried about 10-year old son's sexuality

I am worried about my 10 year old son.  When he was 6 or 7 years old, my aunt caught him and his cousin humping each other.  It was told to me and I was totally embarrassed.  I took my son home and explained to him that he should never do that again.  I told him that boys do not play with boys that way. It has been 3 years and nothing else has happened relating to that until yesterday!  My son had company over to play.  They were in the backyard jumping on the trampoline.  My daughter was in her room playing alone.  My husband and I were watching a movie and we fell asleep.  I am a light sleeper so when I didn't hear any playful noises I got up to check on the kids.  My 5 year old daughter had already beaten me to the punch.  She was quiet and closed the door.  I quite naturally opened the door and they were playing a video game on XBOX.  I asked my daughter what she had seen and she said they were acting "nasty" under the covers.  I immediately sent the little boy home and asked my son what happened.  He lied to me and said they weren't doing anything.  My 5-year old daughter would not be making this up.  Why would she?  I grounded him.  He is not to have any company for a while.  He finally admitted that they were just playing and I once again explained to him that his is not to play with lil boys like that.  Boys like girls. He said he does like girls. Is there any reason to be concerned?  Should I take him to counseling?  Is this normal?  There is so much in the world going on right now and my fear is that I don't want my only son to turn out gay! Am I over reacting? Please help!
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Yes, you are overeacting, due to your anxiety about homosexuality. You needn't be concerned at this point about the matter of your son's sexuality. What you should focus on is the behavior itself. I assume you would not be any happier if your son had been playing under the covers in a sexualized way with a girl. The nature of the activity itself, regardless of whom it was with, is the problem. It is reasonable to set a very firm limit on this behavior, and you must be vigilant in your supervision. Children should never be left alone behind closed doors with their playmates - such an arrangement only invites them acting on their impulses.
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I believe you are justified in  being alarmed.  Xbox, and tv, all the violent, sexually explicit garbage available so much to the kids today, is warping them.  Pushing way too much information into their heads and especially letting them have their own tv's.  What a mistake.  Throw it all out.  Get them involved in sports, or hobby's.  Maybe you are doing all of that.  They are finding out how to 'hump' somehow.  That is not natural to be that curious.  
Show him books and ask what is going on  with that throughout good qualified sex ed books, videos tapes , showing him what is appropriate and what is not.
I would say he may even have been touched by someone as they repeat what they are victims of to new victims, kids younger and weaker than themselves.  That is how they deal with, repeat the
actions on others.  It is a cry out for help, and get the help, don't leave it and hope it will go away; or thinking this is a homosexual issue.  It is a sexual abuse issue MAYBE, a
warping due to too much time on their hands and too much garbage watched and wrong visual aids.  My 2 cents.
Woofytoyou
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I have to disagree with Woofee, I think the curiosity is very natural. Children can learn at a very early age, quite by mistake that it feels good when certain things happen with there genitals. It is not sexual, but rather just something that feels good to them. I think you do have to step in and change the behavior, but in a good way. Not negative. Yelling or grounding your child will only cause more harm. A good talk would do a much better job.
I agree there are many bad things out there, on TV and Video games, But to me this really sounds like normal child curiosity, and should be handled as so.
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Here's a question for you: my son is 6.  He lived alone with me from age 2 - 5 when I got remarried.  He still is completely into his stuffed animals (his favorite being Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Pegasus), he most often plays with girls over boys but they do gender-neutral things like tag or watch TV or whatever.  I'm not worried about his sexuality, obviously, and I'm not as worried as I used to be about other kids picking on him (he went as Rudolph for Halloween, some kids told him Rudolph was for girls, to which my son replied, "a) Rudolph is a boy and also he's for boys or girls") - I just want to get a sense of the level of normality of this behavior.  I was an only child so didn't spend a lot of time around boys on any consistent basis.  I don't want to stunt his imagination, but I don't want him to get picked on, either.  He is already very small for his age, they don't need more fodder.  :)
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I would not be alarmed with his behavior at the moment.  He is in the Kindergarten or 1st grade.  And this is how 6 year olds behave.  He will grow out of that stage.  Give him another year.  I would not buy another stuffed animal after he turns 7 because he'll be too big for that.  Try enrolling him into "boy" related sports such as peewee baseball, football, or basketball.  He will then learn to be around and play with other little boys.  He'll realize on his own that boys his age are not playing with stuffed animals.  Are there any other little boys in your neighborhood he can play with? Or any cousins?
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Approximately one in six boys is sexually abused before age 16.

Due to this fact, any extreme sexual exploration bears investigation. You may want to call your local DHR and inquire if your child can be interviewed to determine if there has been any abuse. Ask if the interview would be conducted mainly with play therapy because this is much less intrusive for the child.

If there has been any abuse, counseling will be nececcesary as childhood sexual abuse often leads to life altering problems in adulthood. Plus, children who are abused may become abusers (even at young ages, repeating the acts done to them).

If nothing else, your child may have been exposed to pornography to even know about how to pretend to perform sexual acts at this age. Pornography can be damaging.

For your child's benefit and other children's I would advise you to seek some professional assistance. If it done through the state, in an investigative process, it would be for no charge (in case the high cost of mental health care would be an issue).
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Dear Worried sick, I have heard from so many parents that I know that their son or daughter have been exploring themselves or others and I always thought it was a bit too mature but have then heard that it is normal.  I myself remember busting my brother twice at the ages of 5 and 9 playing with a girl and then a boy.  I remember a little female friend in school who wanted to play with my private parts when I was around 9-10 but the beating that my brother got from my grandmother set me straight!  Now my brother is 40 and a perfectly normal adult and loving father.  And I can guarantee from personal experience that there was no sexual misconduct coming from any adults in my house.

Now I am faced with the same dilemma: my own 5 year old touched the genital of another boy in music class and the boy touched him back.  The other boy told his parents and they in turm told the teacher.  Now it is a documented fact in school and it is more embarrassing than anything else!  My husband asked him very calmly why he did it and he said that he was just playing.  My husband told my son that the private parts are private and that no one should touch anyone else's parts.  I hope that works.  We have always bathed our 5 and 2 year olds together and nothing like this has happened.  I am open midned about things, but like you, I am upset about it and hope it was just play.  I think my husband handled it well though.

I think that your son is just fine, he is just very aware of his sexuality, just like some kids are more aware of lying and stealing, or on the positive side, musical or sports abilities.  We shun sexuality in this country way too much and then we wonder why we produce more pedophiles than anyone else in the world.

I believe that you have a right to be concerned because this is not acceptable social behavior but very soon your son will be masturbating in his room and that is supposed to be normal behavior.  Think how more unacceptable it would have been to catch him with a girl under the covers!  It just seems more natural for a boy to explore sexual feelings with a friend who shares the same parts.  And thank God that he is not doing anything to involve his little sister.

As far as I am concerned your son has a very healthy sexual appetite in the making and you should concentrate on being open minded about it and making sure that he does not cross any socially acceptable lines that might put him in an embarrassing situation that will haunt him and possibly damage him later.
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