Purpose: 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. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with 399 fifth and sixth graders (192 boys and 207 girls). The data were analysed with a $x^2$ test, t-test, and Pearson correlation coefficients. Results: 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 ($x^2=22.29$, 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. Conclusion: 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.
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