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Korean J Women Health Nurs > Volume 24(2); 2018 > Article
Korean Journal of Women Health Nursing 2018;24(2):219-228.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4069/kjwhn.2018.24.2.219    Published online June 20, 2018.
Sexual Maturation, Attitudes towards Sexual Maturity, and Body Esteem in Elementary-School Children
Sunah Park, Eunyoung Choi, Eunhee Lee, Mikyeong Byeon, Byeongju Lee, Kyea Jung
1Department of Nursing, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Wonju, Korea.
2Department of Nursing, Kyungdong University, Wonju, Korea. 7358533@kduniv.ac.kr
3Department of Nursing, Songho University, Hoengseong, Korea.
4Department of Nursing Science, Andong Science College, Andong, Korea.
5Department of Nursing, Songgok College, Chuncheon, Korea.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate sexual maturation, attitudes toward sexual maturity, and body esteem in the sexual development of Korean elementary-school boys and girls.
A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with 399 fifth and sixth graders (192 boys and 207 girls). The data were analysed with a χ2 test, t-test, and Pearson correlation coefficients.
Among the 207 girls, 70.5% had pubic hair growth, 68.1% had breast development, and 56.0% had a menstrual period. In boys, 59.4% of the 192 subjects experienced the development of external genitalia and 52.6% had pubic hair growth. Sexual maturation was related to grade (boys, t=7.07, p=.008; girls, t=12.76, p < .001), age (t=−2.20, p=.030; t=−4.11, p < .001), height (t=−5.16, p < .001; t=−7.52, p < .001), and weight (t=−2.89, p=.004; t=−5.19, p < .001) in both boys and girls. Girls were more likely to have sexual maturity than boys (χ2=22.29, p < .001). Boys showed more positive attitudes toward sexual maturity (t=2.10, p=.036) and higher body esteem (t=2.12, p=.035) than girls.
This study shows that sexual maturation, attitude toward sexual maturity, and body esteem in sexual development differ between boys and girls. The findings indicate that it is necessary to develop a tailored sex-education program according to the sex of elementary-school children.
Key Words: Sexual maturation; Attitude; Child

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