English Polski
Vol 8, No 2 (2010)
Review paper
Published online: 2011-06-22

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Physiological psycho-sexual development of children and adolescents

Marta Nowak, Agnieszka Gawęda, Małgorzata Janas-Kozik
Seksuologia Polska 2010;8(2):64-70.


Sexuality in the ecological model is a human attribute, the undifferentiated driving force of complex conditionings, which finds its vent in the forms shaped by the system in which humans operate. Sexual identity is a basic sense of what the male and female sex are and is linked with the conviction of one’s masculinity or femininity. This identity is frequently clearly marked towards the second year of life, and approximately from the age of four it does not undergo any considerable changes. However, from the psychological point of view the process of sexual identity formation is a part of the process of child’s separationindividualisation.
The aim of this paper is to bring closer to the Reader the concept of the psycho-sexual development of a child and adolescent through various aspects of this process. The psycho-sexual development is presented through the example of the Kernberg’s object relations in the Freudian framework, and the formation of sexual identity is analysed. Various sexual behaviours are presented in the form of infantile masturbation, orientation and creative behaviours, which are closely linked with the emotional, cognitive and intellectual level of a child and adolescent. The authors propose to approach infantile fantasies from the Freud’s and Klein’s perspective. Girls’ and boys’ experience of sexuality during adolescence was analysed. It is pointed out that this experience is of a different character. A closer look at this subject should contribute to a better understanding of child’s and adolescent’s behaviours which should not necessarily lead to a psychiatric or psychotherapeutic intervention.
Polish Sexology 2010; 8 (2): 64–70

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