Following my last post about the denial of childhood sexuality and the insistence that children are ‘presexual’… How do the deniers explain hypersexuality in children?

Hypersexuality appears in children who suffer various forms of hypomania. It is most understood in children with juvenile bipolar disorder, but it is also found amongst gifted children with Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities. Although some children are naturally more sexual than others.

What’s going on? Basically the sexual arousal system is hardwired from birth. It is instinctive. Various conditions stimulate the sexual system in children and they begin to exhibit a number of sexual behaviours.

This can be extremely problematic in a society that denies the reality of children’s sexuality.

Hypersexuality in children is rarely discussed about for two reasons: one is that (bipolar or not) sexuality in children is simply not spoken about in public; and the other, sadly, is that parents of hypersexual children are afraid to mention the subject — even over email. They are petrified that Child Protective Services will find out and wrongly assume that a hypersexual child is an overstimulated child, and that that overstimulation stems from sexual abuse in the home. Few people — even the professionals at the Departments of Child and Families (DCF) or Child Protective Services (CPS) realize that hypersexuality is so common during the manic or hypomanic stages of bipolar disorder (in adults and in children) — and so it is rarely if ever factored into the equation. Parents of bipolar children fear losing custody of their children based on these suspicions of abuse. The Bipolar Child Newsletter


9 Responses to Hypersexuality in Children

  1. Jackie Lyon says:

    Hi I am a carer of a hypersexual child, and I am finding it impossible to get help or advice regarding the condition. Most people including doctors don’t recognise it or treat me like am making it up or exaggerating simple childhood curiosity. I would be grateful for any help, advice I can get regarding the condition.

  2. Ron says:

    I’ll admit I never heard of this. Your description of this condition is vague and so I have a few follow-up questions. My best guess is that we are talking about obsessive or perhaps compulsive masturbation patterns. Being children and despite whatever imbalance has caused this condition, I imagine they are exhibiting sexual behavior in only particular ways, not in a full-fledged adult way (whatever that may mean). Does this strike one gender more than the other? Can you point to any follow-up reading? Thank you.

    • Ray says:

      Hypersexuality seems to be a part of most forms of hypomania. I don’t know if there has been much research into children because of the obvious ethical problems.

  3. Tris79 says:

    Hi, I am also experiencing this with my child. I know that she has never been abused because I am the only one caring for her. She has never had a baby sitter and her father didn’t even want a part in potty training because of obvious reasons..I am “mom” and it is my job to teach her about her female parts. You are correct in saying that people don’t know where to turn because of close-minded people. She masturbates often, and I wonder if this is normal? I am currently working toward a BA in psychology, so the fact that I am not able to understand this concerns me. If you have any advice, I would love to hear it. Thank you.

    • Ray says:

      I’m afraid I don’t know of any one you can approach. I live in Australia and haven’t researched any support groups. It is normal for her to masturbate. You need only be concerned about her doing to it to such an extent she causes irritation, or if she masturbates in inappropriate situations. Depending on her age she may grow out of it for a time. In any case, I wouldn’t make her ashamed of her hypersexuality. The truth is that children express a range of sexual interest from asexual disinterest to varying degrees of interest leading to precocity and hypersexuality. If you are studying psychology you may even decide to specialise in this area. These children need advocates.

  4. Caprice says:

    My sister was a hypersexual child who coerced me into sexual behaviors. I eventually made it stop but she continues to have many partners.

  5. karl bauer says:

    children’s sexuality is latent and always under the surface if not expressed. once awakened, it will blossom and can’t be stopped. at this point it may be considered “hyper.” if that happens my advice would be to simply let them express themselves sexually in ways that fulfill their needs. there is nothing inherently “dirty” about sexual feelings or their expression, contrary to the drivel that is forced on us by our suppressed society, backed up by organized religion. trying to suppress these strong feelings will only lead to dysfunction later in life.

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