9 to 12 year olds' puberty

Privacy please!

Teens are often embarrassed by their physical transformations and what is going on inside them, a mix of desire, attraction and impulses. They examine themselves a lot… and compare. They're wondering if they are normal. They need to be reassured but not lectured or pushed around. Find the right time to speak to them and don’t ever let them feel like they can’t ask you questions.

Privacy also means exploring the body and the pleasures that come with it. “Puberty is generally a time where the nature and frequency of masturbation, both for boys and girls, is different from when they were children. The main objective is now to get pleasure and reach an orgasm. Most boys and girls who have never masturbated will start during puberty”, explains

No matter what has been said about it, masturbation does not have any physical or psychological consequences. We must repeat it to our children in order to play things down, but also to make them realize that this is a very private and intimate thing that should only be done in intimate or private moments.

Information on 9 to 12 year olds' sexuality

Developmental outcomes

  • Development’s outcomes
  • Physical changes associated with puberty;
  • Psychological/social changes associated with puberty;
  • Good understanding of the rights associated with sex and sexual relations;
  • Frequent behaviours;
  • Dating (going out with someone);
  • Physical intimacy (kissing, touching);
  • Masturbation;
  • Preoccupation with sex (everything comes back to sex);
  • Interest in sexually-oriented media


  • Premature initiation to adult sexual activities;
  • Adaptation issues regarding sexual orientation (homosexual or bisexual);
  • Body image issues;
  • Social skills issues.

Learning goals

  • Good knowledge of the physical and psychological changes brought on by puberty;
  • Diversified education about sexual health, such as waiting to have a first sexual relation and contraception/safe sex.
  • Education about social skills in regards to rights in relationships and mutual satisfaction;
  • Learning to understand, interpret and evaluate sexual images and messages being shown in the media.


Image de Nadine Descheneaux

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