Date of Award


Document Type

Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)




In recent years, there has been an increase in challenging behavior in early childhood settings

because of “sexual behavior”, making an understanding of healthy development in children crucial to the work of the early childhood educator. This study explores information gathered from early childhood educators throughout the state of Maine to assess adult perceptions, opinions, and attitudes about the concept of sexual behavior in early childhood settings, as well as needs for support. Utilizing an online survey tool, the study gathered feedback from 633 respondents throughout the state of Maine. The study revealed that while 72% of educators are comfortable talking to children and parents about these issues, 61% are seeking training and resources on the topic. Minimal research on the issue exists, making the need for current information crucial to the task of determining how best to support early childhood educators in their roles.



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