References and resources
Government of Canada (2012) When children act out sexually: a guide for parents and teachers. [Accessed 09/06/2021].
Healthy Children (2019) Sexual behaviours in young children: what’s normal, what’s not?. [Accessed 09/06/2021].
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) (2009) Sexual development and behaviour in children: information for parents and caregivers (PDF). [Los Angeles]: NCTSN.
National Sexual Violence Resource Centre (2013) An overview of healthy childhood sexual development (PDF). [Alabama] National Children’s Advocacy Center.
South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence (SECASA) (2017) Age appropriate sexual behaviours in children and young people: information for carers, professionals and the general public (PDF). East Bentleigh: SECASA.
Stop It Now (2007) Do children sexually abuse other children? Preventing sexual abuse among children and youth (PDF). Massachusetts: Stop It Now.
Stop It Now (2020) Tip sheet: age-appropriate sexual behaviour. [Accessed 09/06/2021].
Virtual Lab School (2021) Understanding normative sexual development & behaviour. [Accessed 09/06/2021].
Promoting healthy relationships
Provides tips on how you can promote healthy relationships to children of different ages or children who have special educational needs or disabilities. Aimed at the education sector but is also helpful for other sectors.
> Access our tips and guidance
Relationships and sex education (RSE) resources
We’ve put together a range of resources you can use to teach young people about relationships, health and sex education. Includes resources for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
> View the resources
Harmful sexual behaviour
Provides information on recognising, responding and preventing harmful sexual behaviour in children and young people.
> Learn more about harmful sexual behaviour
Recognising and responding to abuse
Outlines best practice for recognising and responding to abuse or concerns. Includes information about consent, reporting concerns, whistleblowing, mandatory reporting and more.
> Find out more
Listen to our short three-part series on responding to harmful sexual behaviour in schools, assessing sexualised behaviour and preventing harmful sexual behaviour.
> See all episodes
We’ve produced two elearning courses for primary and secondary schools so you can develop your understanding of how to recognise and respond to concerns about harmful sexual behaviour.
> See the courses
Support for parents and carers
Many parents and carers may feel unsure about how to talk to their child or children about sex, sexuality and relationships. You can find advice to share with parents and carers on the NSPCC website.
> Read and share our advice for parents and carers
Support for children and young people
If a child or young person needs confidential help and advice direct them to Childline. Calls to 0800 1111 are free and children can also contact Childline online.
Childline provides information and advice for young people about sex and relationships.
You can also order Childline posters and wallet cards.