Playing "Doctor"

Boulder investigators are looking into an "incident" involving a 6 year-old boy and an 11 year-old girl who apparently took nude photos of each other with a cell phone.
According to the police report, (police spokeswoman Sarah) Huntley said, the incident happened in June when the children were playing outside one of their homes in Boulder. They took photographs of each other partially or entirely naked on the 11-year-old girl's cell phone, Huntley said.

One of the parents found the pictures, she said.

The YMCA official had a legal obligation to report it to the principal, and the principal was obligated to contact police, Huntley said. Officers have notified the Boulder County Department of Social Services, and detectives will follow up with the agency.

"If it was determined the pictures led to some behavior, we could investigate that," Huntley said.
Detectives? These are children! It's normal for kids to "play doctor". It's healthy curiosity to want to see what real bodies look like. A clinical psychologist agrees:
Playing doctor is a normal behavior in children, especially pre-school children who have not yet received the school-based warnings about personal and body privacy. While children may be touching and looking, it’s more curiosity than anything else. It does tell us that they are at a stage where they are curious about these body parts — so it’s time to talk to them about body privacy.
Yes, talk to them. This is not a crime. Can't they just give kids cell phones that don't have cameras? They will still be curious and experiment but at least there won't be photographic evidence to throw prudish adults into hysteria. Dr. Christine Todd offers some advice to parents who discover their children engaging in sexual behavior:
In an insightful article on this topic, Dr. Maria Sauzier (1984) suggests providers ask themselves five questions about the behavior. First, is it age-appropriate? It is very common for two-year-olds to walk around the house with their hands in their shorts. However, most five-year-olds should know better. Second, how prolonged is the behavior? If a child constantly engages in sexual play and never moves on to other topics, there may be more cause for concern. Third, can the child handle the feelings they are experiencing? Play is characterized by laughter and light-heartedness. Little girls often giggle as they raise their skirts over their heads. If children who engage in sexual play look anxious or guilty, or become extremely aroused, it is probably time to give the matter more attention. Fourth, is there any sign of one child forcing another to engage in sexual play through bribes, name-calling, or physical force? If so, this requires immediate attention. Finally, does the child know more than you feel is normal at this age? It is very unusual for a preschool child to imitate intercourse. This may indicate the child has witnessed or been exposed to adult sexuality.
Better add cell phone photos to the list, too.

Look, the 5 year age difference between the children is somewhat troubling, but it should be up to the parents to work things out. Unless the 11 year-old was abusing or forcing the younger child to pose for the photos, this is just kids being kids, and the police have no business investigating the sexual development of children.

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