In this ground-breaking work, leading Austrian sexologist Ernest Borneman describes each phase of the psychosexual development of children from conception to age eight. Based on extensive research, Childhood Phases of Maturity overturns the prevalent assumption that children are asexual innocents, for whom sexuality is an inconceivable aspect of life until the onsetof puberty. In fact, Borneman argues, the opposite is true: sexuality is indisputably a fact of human development from concption; it manifests itself in children in various ways, including their games, rich fantasy life, need for skin contact, and masturbation. Research shows that the natural expression of sexuality in childhood is vital to the later healthy development of adult sexuality.
Borneman divides his discussion of each successive age group into two sections: the first describes healthy sexual development at a particular age; the second examines the pathologies resulting from aberrations in sexual growth at that age. Borneman demonstrates that the roots of adult neuroses and paraphilias can often be traced back to disturbances in sexual development during childhood. Perhaps the most important influence on a child's psychosexual well-being is the parents' attitudes toward their own sexuality.
Childhood Phases of Maturity is an authoritative, clearly written reference book, which will serve parents, educators, and health-care professionals as a valuable source of information on the sexual developmental psychology of children.
About the Author
Ernest Borneman is Austria's foremost sexologist and a pioneering researcher in the area of pediatric sexology. He has taught at many universities in Austria and Germany, and has published numerous articles and books on the subject of human sexuality.