It was Sigmund Freud who first recognized the hidden sexuality of young children – those under the age of 5. Until then, young children were regarded as being essentially asexual. How astonishing this fact is, when one considers that virtually all of us go through similar stages of sexual exploration and fantasizing beginning from the very first years of childhood. Freud correctly saw the most secretive part of a child’s world as being filled with sexual curiosity, sexual indulgence, and sexual fantasy.
What is the nature of childhood sexuality, and how does it arise? Childhood sexuality most often begins with ‘self-love’, and only later transcends the self to include others. But why? From the very first moments of life we are faced with the task of becoming acquainted with all aspects of our physical being. As children, we do this by using our hands to explore the boundaries of our bodies, and in the process, we quickly discover that the highly innervated genital area is very sensitive and pleasurable to touch. Being pleasure seeking beings at the core, we repetitively stimulate our sex organs to derive physical pleasure from them.
But the sex organs are also a source of olfactory pleasure – smegma – a combination of shed cells, skin oils, and moisture that is produced under the foreskin in males, and around the clitoris and between the labia minora in females. Though never scientifically researched or written about in academic literature – because it evidently represents one of the bigger societal taboos – the smell of smegma is intrinsically pleasurable to all of us, yet is something generally never acknowledged openly for fear of social rejection. And so, children will deliberately contaminate their fingers with smegma in the process of stimulating the genital area, so that they can then smell their fingers and derive olfactory pleasure from doing so.
Though society strongly discourages both behaviours, all children tend to do it, and in great secret. If one ascribes to the belief that most of us are born inherently heterosexual, there would be no reason to believe that the childhood sexual behavioural tendencies described might have any repercussions for sexual orientation development. However, in a published paper ‘ True Nature – A Theory Of Human Sexual Evolution’ found at www.humansexualevolution.com , it is shown using various lines of argument that humans, as a species, no longer possess a sexual instinct due to our higher intelligence, thus making such behaviours capable of influencing sexual orientation development. But how, exactly?
If we are not born with a pre-determined sexual orientation, we acquire it through our life experiences and environmental influences. So what then, is the potential effect of childhood sexual exploration behaviours? In Chapter 3 (http://www.humansexualevolution.com/sexual-orientation-development.htm) we learn that because of the pleasurable tactile stimulation of the genital, and the addictive odour of smegma, there is the greatest potential – in the absence of all societal influences – to view others of our own perceived gender as sexually attractive because they possess sex organs identical to the our own – to which we have become so dependent upon for tactile and olfactory pleasure. In this same light, the sexual attraction to others of the opposite sex is much less likely to occur, because we cannot similarly associate with them – unless we are immersed in a heterosexual environment where the conditioning elements are sufficiently strong and effective enough to steer our sexual orientation development in a heterosexual path instead. Evidently, this is what societies are able to do successfully most of the time. Being born into a family with a mother and father certainly most strongly impresses upon a developing child what is expected in terms of sexual orientation. It is only when a child, through personal experience, does not respond to the vast array for heterosexually conditioning elements around it, that a homosexual orientation development (or a bixexual one,) is likely to occur.
The tendency for self-love, and its potential for homosexual orientation development, can offer us an explanation for the origin of circumcision, which has always remained a mystery. Both male and female circumcision were actually attempts by various societies across the globe to discourage homosexuality by reducing the tendency for children to fall in love with their own bodies, thereby also reducing the tendency for same-sex attraction. In the case of male circumcision, the removal of the foreskin reduces the formation of smegma, and also reduces the sensitivity of the glans penis to touch. In the case of female circumcision, the excision of the clitoris eliminates their ability to feel pleasure from tactile stimulation. In cases where the labia is also removed in female circumcision, it can be viewed as an attempt to reduce the accumulation of smega and keep the area clean.