Sibling abuse is suggested to be one of the most under-reported forms of child sexual abuse. Although there is limited data on the prevalence of it, the most common form of reported sibling sexual abuse involves an older brother victimizing a younger sister.
Understanding sexuality and experiencing puberty can be very confusing for children, and the last thing we want is for a sexually curious child to use a younger sibling (or any child for that matter) to experiment or as an outlet for their sexual urges.
What Can We Do:
- Consider the sibling dynamic: nurturing older siblings may feel more protective of their younger siblings, while children that try to exert dominance or even bully their siblings most definitely need correction, guidance, and increased supervision.
- Listen to your child and investigate if they’re complaining about their older sibling. This is especially true if it involves bullying, controlling, violent behavior, and of course allegations of sexual interaction.
- Address issues of curiosity about the opposite sex as early as possible. Get a book or go online! There is nothing wrong with a child knowing and understanding how the sexual organs of boys & girls look & function.
- Remind older siblings that sexual interaction is only appropriate between two consenting, non-related, mature, married people of the same age, and address masturbation in a healthy manner.