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An age-inappropriate knowledge of sex 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 either in person or through media sources, such as pornographic
When a young child acts in a manner that indicates 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.
December 7, 2012
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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