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Stages of sexual development

Children pass through different stages of development as they grow, and their awareness and curiosity about sexual matters changes with them.

Each child is an individual and will develop in their own way. However, there is a generally accepted range of behaviours linked to a child’s age and developmental stage. Sometimes these will involve some exploration with other children of similar age. It can be difficult to tell the difference between age-appropriate sexual exploration and warning signs of harmful behaviour.