"Playing doctor" is a phrase used colloquially in the western world to refer to children examining each other's genitals. It originates from children using the pretend roles of doctor and patient as a pretext for such an examination. Nevertheless, whether or not such role playing is actually involved, the phrase is still used to refer to any similar examination.
Playing doctor is considered by most child psychologists to be a normal step in childhood sexual development between the ages of approximately three and six years, although it can be a source of discomfort to some parents, when they discover their children are engaging in such an activity. Parenting professionals often advise parents to view such a discovery as an opportunity to calmly teach their children about the differences between the sexes, the importance of modesty, and respecting the privacy and bodies of other children.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Is Your Preschooler Playing Doctor?. FamilyEducation. URL accessed on 4 September 2009. Excerpted from: (1997-06) The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Preschooler and Toddler, Too, USA: Penguin Group.
- Pike, Lynn Blinn (2001). Sexuality and Your Child: For Children Ages 3 to 7. University of Missouri Extension. URL accessed on 4 September 2009.
- Kennedy, Kevin Sexual abuse? or just playing 'Doctor'?. MedHelp. Self-published. URL accessed on 4 September 2009.
- Clayton, Victoria Playing doctor: How to teach kids about inappropriate touch. Growing Up Healthy. msnbc.com. URL accessed on 4 September 2009.
- Heins, Marilyn (2004). Sex Play: parenting strategies. ParentKidsRight. URL accessed on 4 September 2009.
- (2005). Why Your Child Plays Doctor. Advice from Experts. Fisher-Price. URL accessed on 4 September 2009.
- I Caught Them Playing Doctor!. FamilyEducation. URL accessed on 4 September 2009. Excerpted from: (1997-06) Perfect Parenting: The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips, McGraw-Hill.
- Grzeskowiak, Mark Playing Doctor. MedHunters. URL accessed on 4 September 2009.
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