One feature of the popular view of the sexual instinct is that it is absent in childhood and only awakens in the period of life described as puberty . . . It is true that in the literature of the subject one occasionally comes across remarks upon precocious sexual activity in small children – upon erections, masturbation and even activities resembling coitus. But these are always quoted only as exceptional events… So far as I know, not a single author has clearly recognized the regular existence of a sexual instinct in childhood; and in the writings that have become so numerous on the development of children, the chapter on ‘Sexual Development’ is usually omitted.