Frida Nøddebo Nyrup is a trained psychologist, and she teaches future social educators.

Frida’s interest in children’s sexuality started at a very early age, when she worked with resocialization for 10 years as a prison officer in the Danish Prison and Probation Service. Here she repeatedly ran into young men who either had great difficulty in managing their sexuality in ways that society could accept, or who had sexual problems that stood in the way of finding a girlfriend. In several cases these inmates remembered having experienced humiliations and constraints regarding their sexual curiosity during childhood, and some could even recount being punished.

Over the course of her 10 years as a prison officer, these cases of adults with sexual difficulties made her suspect that the way we as adults encounter children’s sexual curiosity has a profound impact on the adult sexuality later in life. After this, she graduated with an MSc in Psychology and is now an associate professor at The Faculty of Education and Social Sciences at UCL University College, Denmark, where she deals with the subject of Children’s sexual development.

Here, Frida Nøddebo Nyrup was given the task of working as a consultant at institutions that had challenges regarding children who played games with sexual content.

As part of her teaching about sexuality, she also initiated studies together with students. These studies reinforced the suspicion of a link between childhood experiences with sexual content and adult sexuality.

A few of the results were:

To become wiser about the development of sexuality, Frida Nøddebo Nyrup interviewed some of the students who had difficulties with their sexuality. For example, she was interested in the reason for why some of the female students had problems achieving orgasm on their own but could do so with a partner. It led to another piece in the puzzle of understanding the evolution of sexuality. The students explained that it was because it felt “disgusting” and “just wrong” to touch one’s own genitals. Most of them felt ashamed and wanted to be able to touch themselves, but it felt very difficult to change the fundamental feeling that it was wrong.

In connection with this piece for the puzzle, Frida Nøddebo Nyrup found through literature research that we as a society in many ways give rise to a feeling of shame by touching oneself.


Frida Nøddebo Nyrup has formulated the following about this subject:

Already on the changing table, adults tend to ignore and possibly quickly give children a light dash if they find interest in touching their own genitals. In particular, it affects girls who already have more difficulty than boys in getting to know their genitals (Nyrup, 2022).

However, the media also has great power in relation to the understanding we have of ourselves, which is very hard to shake off. For example, a study of the 50 most watched porn movies on Pornhub found that women virtually never touch themselves, and the man also rarely touches the woman other than to penetrate. On the other hand, both the woman and the man themselves often touch the man’s penis – for example, an ejaculation is often filmed in which either the woman or the man himself stimulates the man’s penis (Séguin et al., 2018).

We know from other contexts that we take such understandings with us, and that we pass it on to our children. Often as unconscious tendencies to feel and react in certain ways (Peterson et al., 2017).

Usually, repetitions reinforces these experiences and make them become lasting emotions and memories in our nervous system (Hart, 2008, s. 67, 2009, s. 32, 2006, s. 16-17). This is for example memories that help us navigate and avoid bad experiences. The same goes for sexuality (Bleakley et al., 2008).

In a study of how we as humans form patterns of arousal, Mitchell (2021) found that a single experience could leave the same type of emotional imprint that we usually see in repetitions. It is assumed that it is a matter of the repetitions taking place through recurring thoughts about, for example, experiences with strong emotional content. When talking about the formation of patterns of sexual arousal, it can be that these occur when thoughts are coupled with the physical erections of the clitoris and penis, respectively, which naturally take place several times during a day – both when we sleep and when we are wake.

Overall, there are many reasons why we as adults need to be aware of the understandings and feelings we pass on to our children in relation to their sexuality.


Bleakley, A., Hennessy, M., Fishbein, M., & Jordan, A. (2008). It Works Both Ways: The Relationship Between Exposure to Sexual Content in the Media and Adolescent Sexual Behavior. Media Psychology, 11(4), 443–461.

Hart, S. (2008). Hjernens udvikling, familiær traumatisering og seksuelle overgreb. Pædagogisk Psykologisk Tidsskrift, 45(1), 66–84.

Hart, S. (2009). Den følsomme hjerne: Hjernens udvikling gennem tilknytning og samhørighedsbånd. Hans Reitzel.

Hart, S., f. 1956. (2006). Hjerne, samhørighed, personlighed: Introduktion til neuroaffektiv udvikling. Hans Reitzel.

Mitchell, R. W. (2021). High and Tight, Please: Self-explanations for Experiencing Short Haircuts as Erotic. Sexuality & Culture.

Nyrup, F. N. (2022). DERFOR er det vigtigt at anerkende børns seksuelle nysgerrighed.  Om den seksuelle, den social-seksuelle og den kønsmæssige udvikling. NyfaBooks.

Peterson, G. R., van Slyke, J., Spezio, M., & Reimer, K. (2017). Habits in Mind: Integrating Theology, Philosophy, and the Cognitive Science of Virtue, Emotion, and Character Formation. Brill.

Séguin, L. J., Rodrigue, C., & Lavigne, J. (2018). Consuming Ecstasy: Representations of Male and Female Orgasm in Mainstream Pornography. The Journal of Sex Research, 55(3), 348–356.


The many factors that pointed in the direction that we destroy children’s sexual development if we do not change how we act, made Frida Nøddebo Nyrup promise herself that she would contribute what she could, to ensure children an upbringing with room for a healthy and life-giving sexual development. It may also be noted that healthy sexual development means fewer sexual assaults, fewer unplanned and premature pregnancies, fewer sexually transmitted diseases, etc.

This gave birth to the idea of ​​the children’s book: “Elba’s little ABC of Sex Education. A contribution to the development of healthy and well-functioning people”. This book is also meant to make adults aware of the harm they might risk inflicting on their children.

So far, this has led to several publications on children’s sexual development, as well as a number of presentations at conferences. Among other things, the following can be mentioned:

In the next release from NyfaBooks you can learn more about children’s sexual, socio-sexual and gender development. The book is called:

THE REASON for making room for children’s sexual curiosity. About children’s sexual, socio-sexual and gender development.

The book is written by Frida Nøddebo Nyrup and it will be released medio/ultimo 2022 the publisher NyfaBooks.

Order the book in advance and get 30% off by sending an email through the contact form or by sending an email to Write THE REASON in the subject line and write that you wish to pre-order the book. When the book comes out you will receive a notification through the publisher’s website. You will also receive a coupon code, that you can use when you order the book. This means that you only pay when the book is released and you apply the coupon code that you will get yourself.