Parents have to be prepared to field questions about sexuality even from small children, says Germany's professional association for paediatricians, the dpa reported.
There is no definitive age for educating children about sex, said the Munich-based association. Parents should be ready to provide enlightenment at all times, said Ulrich Fegeler, a spokesman for the association.
Children begin investigating their own bodies between the ages of 18 months and three years. At this stage they should be told the correct names of body parts, including the sex organs. Using intuition and a good sense of their children's ability to understand, parents should explain the intimacy of particular parts of the body.
Interest in gender and sexual identity potentially pops up around the ages of four or five, including the question about why a girl's body is different from a boy's.
Children might touch their own genitals or show interest in the sex organs of other children. This is not a sign of sexual activity, rather simply normal curiosity. At about age 6, children begin to make the connection between sexuality and the birth of a child.