Family Development

Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth (SBCY) Series

About This Series:

Children and youth often exhibit behaviors that are considered sexual by the adults observing them. Understanding the factors associated with normal and concerning sexual behavior is important when preparing professionals and caregivers with the best practices to keep children safe and thriving during childhood and youth.

The SBCY Series addresses normal sexual behavior in children in addition to exploring concerning and problematic sexual behavior (PSB) that children may display. Various factors associated with children’s sexual behavior are identified in order to assist clinicians in understanding appropriate assessment and disclosure processes involved when problematic symptoms are present.

Webinar Icon   Webinars

We’ve produced webinars to address different topics areas related to sexual behavior in children and youth. Each is free to attend, available for replay viewing, and offers continuing education credit and certificate of attendance options.


Visit the webinar event page to RSVP and join the live session!

Preventing the Onset of Youth Problem Sexual Behaviors | February 24, 2022, 11 AM – 12:30 PM ET

Middle School kids in hallwayThis webinar demonstrates how a school-based universal prevention program, Responsible Behavior with Younger Children, from the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, may be used to prevent PSB directed towards younger children and their peers.



Problematic Sexual Behavior: The Importance of a Multidisciplinary Evidence-Based Approach

image of family with two young toddlers walking down sidewalkThis webinar focuses on increasing the knowledge base of all multidisciplinary team members on PSB. Focus is placed on disseminating information regarding the continuum of sexual behaviors, dispelling myths about children with PSB, and instilling hope in treating this population.

Sexualized Behaviors in Children & Youth

Image of child holding teddy bearThis webinar reviews normal, concerning, and problematic sexual behaviors that children may display. Various factors associated with children’s sexual behaviors are identified to assist clinicians in understanding appropriate assessment and disclosure processes involved when problematic symptoms are present.

From Hysteria to Hope: Bringing Reason to Sexual Abuse in Childhood

Image of young boy riding bike down gravel laneIn this webinar, Dr. Letourneau informs participants of how problematic and/or illegal sexual behavior in childhood can be framed as a preventable public health problem.  

Engaging Families in Clinical Services: A Discussion on Engagement in Family Advocacy Settings

image of woman sitting at table on her laptop waving at webcamThis webinar focuses on factors impacting engagement for families in clinical services. The research of McKay et al. related to caregiver participation is discussed and applied to the family advocacy setting.


Understanding Children’s Sexual Knowledge and Behavior from a Developmental Perspective

image of woman sitting with young boy and playing with toys together and young sister standing beside the,This webinar covers typical social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development in preschool (age 5 and under) and school-age (age 6 to 12) children and how development across these domains informs expected sexual knowledge and behavior. Typical sexual knowledge and behavior within these age ranges are discussed.

Considering the Adolescent Brain when Addressing Problematic Sexual Behavior of Youth

Image of young adolescence balancing on a rail along a riverThis session discusses adolescent social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development. Normative sexual development of teens ages 13 to 18 is addressed. Protective factors are discussed and emphasized as possible strategies for supporting healthy behavior.


Culturally Competent Responses to Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior

image of military mom hugging and holding up smiling young boyThis presentation reviews the influences of culture and ethnic diversity on families and youth impacted by PSB. The presenter also explores how a balanced response contributes to the ultimate goal of understanding and healing.


Juvenile Justice Responses to Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior

image of hand holding gavelThis webinar provides an introduction to the juvenile justice system and the juvenile court. Information regarding processing juvenile cases, court hearings, roles and responsibilities, and restoration and rehabilitation for juveniles are presented. 


Overview of Treatment for Children Impacted by Problematic Sexual Behavior of Other Youth

image of young child playing with toy blocksThis session provides an overview of treatment for caregivers and children impacted by the PSB of other youth using a Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) framework. Information and qualities of evidence-based treatment for the family are also addressed.


Talking with Youth about Sex, Sexuality, and Media

image of youth holding gaming controllerParticipants learn how to help and prepare children and youth to practice better decision-making in regards to their bodies and the bodies of others. Best practices for having substantial conversations on understanding pornography, sex, and sexuality are discussed.

Modeling Healthy Technology Behaviors for Young Children

young girl holding phone up to faceAn overview of the importance for parents and caregivers to model healthy boundaries with technology for healthy child social-emotional development is presented. This session also explains how to support parents and other adults in setting appropriate examples in their use of technology.

Supporting Youth to Set Healthy Boundaries with Technology

Image of teens holding smart phonesThis webinar engages professionals on the use of technology amongst adolescents, how technology is used to harm, and what caring adults can do to educate and empower youth in their lives to take action to end technology-facilitated abuse. 

CE Credit icon Continuing Education Credits 

This series provides free continuing education credit opportunities for participants. Click the links above for accreditation details and to find additional session resources, links, and materials! 

Podcast Icon Podcasts

Listen to our conversation with a topic expert and our discussion on foundational strategies that you can apply to your work.

A Discussion with Dr. Gregory Leskin about Problematic Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth| Anchored. Podcast
Dr. Gregory Leskin, Director – Military & Veteran Families, National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Articles Icon Blog Posts

Read our blog post discussing the evolution of our SBCY series!

MFLN Family Development Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth (SBCY) Series So Far| Blog Post

External Resources Icon Additional External Resouces

Find more resources for your work and service provision in this topic area!

National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth| NCSBY Homepage

Sexual Behavior Problems in Children and AdolescentsOffice of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention| OJJDP Website

Sign Up for the Family Development Mailing List

Through our mailing list, we send information on this series and other MFLN programs. Sign up today for updates on upcoming SBCY series topics and professional development opportunities!


“I am extremely grateful to be learning about this topic more in-depth as I am tasked to provide supportive services to these families and I feel less than prepared, but this series will change that significantly.”

– Response from Engaging Families in Clinical Services: A Discussion on Engagement in Family Advocacy Settings Webinar Evaluation


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