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    Sexual Abuse: Knowing About Sex at Too Young an Age

    Sexual Abuse: Knowing About Sex at Too Young an Age

    Topic Overview

    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 videos.

    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.

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    Credits

    By Healthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
    Last Revised December 7, 2012

    Last Revised: December 7, 2012

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