The study of middle childhood offers a broader understanding of the sexuo-affective processes whose origin dates back to the first stages of life. Indeed, biological sex is just the first step upon which gender identity - understood as the subjective perception of belonging to male or female gender - is built. Despite the fact that it has not been widely studied so far, middle childhood is an essential stage for the stabilisation of gender role through its typical processes of socialization. In this article the Authors focus just on the changes and on the transformations that are typical of the 6-12 age range and they examine such topics from a multidimensional perspective which respects the complex interaction of body, mind and society. The analysis of the consolidations of middle childhood, such as empathy, reciprocity and friendship, leads the Authors to a critical broadening of the sexual latency construct.
Keywords: Middle childhood, gender identity, sexual identity, gender role, sexual stereotypes, sexual latency
Chiara Simonelli, Francesca Tripodi, Stefano Eleuteri, Marta Giuliani, Sexual and affective development in the school age in "RIVISTA DI SESSUOLOGIA CLINICA" 1/2010, pp. 5-22, DOI:10.3280/RSC2010-001001