I was asked this question by a 12 year old. It is a very interesting one because there are a couple of ways of interpreting this.

1. The person is being flooded by hormones at this time in their life and so they may be experiencing unexpected erections or rushes of sexual feelings that are not connected to what they are thinking about or doing at the time. This is completely normal and will settle down after puberty.

2. Maybe they hear or see something online, in real life or on tv that stimulates their body and it surprises them.

3. It’s important to understand that if someone is being touched sexually in an abusive situation (maybe they are being groomed or coerced) then their body might react to the stimulus. If their body does this, it does not mean they are consenting to the situation, it is merely a physical reaction. We don’t want anyone to feel any feelings of shame or blame in this scenario.

This question, therefore, gives me a chance to bring up a serious topic with the class and watch for reactions and further questions. If I feel there is anything to be concerned about I would take it to my child protection officer.

How would you interpret this question and what answer would you give?