Cultures and religions codified these principles into rules in which children learn to control their natural bodily functions by publicly pleasing adults and privately exploring the world and testing the bounds of adult tolerance.
In the traditions of Confucianism, as in humanism, sexual activity and sexual education are generally less regulated but often considered a private matter, so that discussing it may be 'very bad taste'.
In Islam, mixing between men and women is strongly discouraged, especially when in private.
Although touching and kissing people beyond one's immediate family is not permissible, some socialization is encouraged so that men and women may come to know each other (Surah Al-Hujurat) as long as there is no obscenity, touching, secret meetings or flirting.
Many children take part in some sex play, typically with siblings or friends.
Sex play with others usually decreases as children go through their elementary school years, yet they still may possess romantic interest in their peers.
The development of child sexuality is influenced by social and cultural aspects; the perception of developing child sexuality is even more heavily influenced by cultural aspects.
The concept of child sexuality also played an important role in the classical psychoanalysis.
Boys often lie on their stomachs and girls may sit and rock.Freud was one of the first researchers to seriously study child sexuality.While his ideas, such as psycho-sexual development and the Oedipus complex, have been rejected, acknowledging the existence of child sexuality was a significant change.Most published sexual research material emanates from the Western World, and a great deal of dramatic audio-visual material which might influence social attitudes to child sexuality are generated either in the United States of America or else for that audience."Normative" may therefore relate to Western culture rather than to the general complexity of human experience.Manual stimulation occurs about the time of adolescence and mutual masturbation or other sexual experimentation between adolescents of similar ages may also occur, though cultural or religious coercion may inhibit or occult such activity if there is negative peer pressure or if authority figures are likely to disapprove.Some cultural critics in the Western world have postulated that over recent decades, children have been subject to a premature sexualization, as indicated by a level of sexual knowledge or sexual behavior inappropriate for their age group.The causes of this premature sexualization that have been cited include portrayals in the media of sex and related issues, especially in media aimed at children; the marketing of products with sexual connotations to children, including clothing; the lack of parental oversight and discipline; access to adult culture via the internet; and the lack of comprehensive school sex education programs.Research into youthful sexuality has been largely conducted over the 20th century in the Western World and is mostly concerned with suppression for reasons of religion and/or fears about the spread of sexually transmitted infections.Children are naturally curious about their bodies and sexual functions – they wonder where babies come from, they notice anatomical differences between males and females, and many engage in genital play or masturbation.Child sex play includes exhibiting or inspecting the genitals.