|Well, not too explicit; in fact not explicit at all!|
Recently, a friend of mine was relaying a story about one of his kids after I had told him that my little one is all about "winkies" and "fannies" at the moment. The story goes something along the lines of...he was in a cubicle, in a communal changing room of a local, public swimming pool a few years ago. He was busy getting his daughter ready to go swimming with him, when out of the blue, in earshot of everyone in the changing area (behind the closed, locked door) she pipes up “Daddy, can I touch your winkie?” Hold on! Really? Did I just write that? Did you just read that correctly? Call in social services! Oh wait, that happened to me just two weekends ago. My daughter and I were standing facing one another divided by a small picket fence. She quietly (luckily) whispered to me, “daddy, take your winkie out”. Now before you grab your mobile/cell phone to call the police or social services, it is worth noting that this type of behaviour is completely normal. My wife could not understand why our little one was so hung (excuse the intentional pun) up on the genital region.
You see, for little ones, these regions are not seen as sexual in the context in which you and I view sexuality. Sigmund Freud talks of a child’s libido and the development thereof through what he called psychosexual stages of development. The stage which I am (not so subtly) alluding to here is the third stage of Freud's five stage development theory known as the Phallic Stage. The two preceding stages are the Oral and Anal stage (say what?!?). This is the only stage which is experienced differently between boys and girls, the other four are all experienced in exactly the same way, irrespective of being male or female. What my daughter is currently going through (according to Freud) is an Electra Complex (you may be more familiar with the male version of this known as the Oedipus Complex). Freud explains that every young girl (roughly aged between 3 and 5) wishes to side and seek favour with her father, so she rejects her mother, blaming her for a lack of a penis (this is known as Penis Envy) and so aims to win over the affections of her father. Soon enough, the young girl realises that she will never possess what her father possesses (a penis) and so reunites with her mother, introjecting her mother’s attitudes and values.
Or maybe, just maybe, young girls take on the roles and actions of their mothers due to a sense of familiarity and shared interests Professor Freud!
Freud goes on to explain how a fixation (being trapped) in a certain stage of development will be expressed symbolically in adult behaviour. Children who have experienced frustration or over-gratification in this stage usually express this in adulthood by being overly manly or overly feminine; in South Africa these women are colloquially known as coogles. This might also offer an explanation for cases where adult males might be "mother-fixated" or female adults might be "father-fixated" as revealed when their sexual partner (husband/wife) resembles their own father or mother.
So, there you have it! Now, please love, no more winkie and fanny talk; Please?