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How can I understand my sexual behaviour? What does it mean for me?

One of the most important things you can do now is make sure you don’t harm that person again, or anyone else. You might feel sure that would never happen, because you feel so bad about what’s already happened. But the best way to make sure things don’t happen again is understanding why they happened in the first place. Lots of research has been done to help us understand why people harm others through their sexual behaviour. 

The Good Lives Model helps people find out how to get what they need out of life in a healthy way. We explain more about it on our page on building a good life. It could help you understand more about your own sexual behaviour, and about how to make positive changes. 

Building a good life

Find out about the Good Lives Model, to help you understand your behaviour and set goals for a good life.

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If someone has behaved in a harmful way, they may worry that they’re a bad person. Try to remember that even if you’ve done something that hurt you or someone else, this doesn’t mean that who you are is bad. 

During your teenage years, you go through lots of changes. Your body and brain are changing rapidly and, at the same, you’re trying to work out who you are and who you want to be. This includes figuring out your sexual identity. Your sexual identity can develop and change throughout your teenage years and into your adulthood. So you may not always feel how you feel now. It can be helpful to remember this if you’re worried that the harmful sexual behaviour means something bad about your sexual identity.

For example, you may worry about whether you’ll carry on hurting people through your sexual behaviour in the future. But most young people who behave in a sexually harmful way don’t go on to do the same in their adult lives. 

You can go on to live a safe, harm-free and positive life. Knowing that you want to change your behaviour, and getting the right support to help you do it, is the first step. 

What to do if… You’ve had sexual thoughts or feelings about younger children

Our sexual thoughts can be confusing and may leave us feeling upset, anxious or overwhelmed. Find out how to understand and cope with your thoughts and get advice on when and how to seek help.

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