The sexual behavior of children is understudied and not well understood. Applying a social constructionist perspective to childhood sexual behavior, the present study investigates familial factors that influence the normal expression of such behavior. Analysis of data from primary caregivers of preadolescent African American children shows that childhood sexual behavior varies in accordance with the sexual beliefs and customs of the family. The family structure and the educational status of the primary caregiver also are found to be correlated with childhood sexual behavior. Although the findings must be interpreted cautiously, they provide evidence for the usefulness of a social constructionist perspective, thus illustrating the importance of considering the familial context in assessing childhood sexual behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science