Sexual Behaviours

Mrs Cooper, Designated Safeguarding Lead -

Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) is developmentally inappropriate sexual behaviour displayed by children and young people which is harmful or abusive.  Child-on-Child sexual abuse is a form of HSB where sexual abuse occurs between children of a similar age or stage of development. Problematic sexual behaviour (PSB) is developmentally inappropriate or socially unexpected sexualised behaviour which does not have an overt element of victimisation or abuse.

It’s important that everyone who works with children and young people has a good understanding of how children develop sexually. This can help you recognise which sexual behaviours are developmentally typical and identify if a child is displaying behaviour that is problematic or harmful. The NSPCC have put together some information about the stages of typical sexual development and behaviour for different age groups which you can read here. 

NSPCC advice for parents on healthy and unhealthy sexual behaviour in children and teenagers, including what to do if you're worried, can be read here.

Childline - 0800 1111 free 24/7 -

Supporting health staff to recognise and respond to harmful sexual  behaviour: key principles and practical tools - ScienceDirect