Would you hire a male babysitter?

A friend of mine’s mother was recently injured. She’s a career (30+ years), licensed babysitter who runs a daycare business out of her house, where she watches between 10 and 15 kids at any given time.

He’s been filling in for her while she’s bedridden, and I guess some of the mothers have expressed concern over a man watching the children. This guy’s married, with kids, and he’s great with children, but the whole pedophile fearmongering still comes into play.

Are we enlightened enough at this point to just accept that there are some creeps out there without assuming that ANY man who watches children is going to molest them? Would you hire a male babysitter?

We specifically selected the daycare where my daughter is because it has a male teacher (he’s the art teacher, so he sees all the kids every day). My husband is the primary caregiver (she’s part time in daycare, part time home with him), and we wanted her in a place where it seemed normal to everyone involved that men could take care of children.

Yes and I have. My daughter’s only babysitter is a very nice 13 YO french and asian boy down the street. He does just fine and she has a big mouth so I don’t think anything would ever go unreported. I had plenty of male babysitters growing up but that was for 3 boys. I won’t be totally liberal about this issue though. I would not like an older male (like 25 or older) watching my daughter and that is just out of sheer prejudice. That includes many family members. My daughter’s day-care has had a few younger males on staff over the years and they seem to do fine. In short, younger males are fine but older ones squick me out too for no particular reason. I am willing to judge on a case-by-case basis however.

Hell, my favorite babysitter as a kid was male - teenage son of my parents’ friends. He enjoyed playing with my brother & I, instead of just watching TV or talking to friends on the phone or doing homework. This was back in the early 70’s, and it seemed like people are more suspicious these days - probably media-inspired. But he was a great kid, and my mom kept in touch with his mom for a while after we moved away, and it sounded like he did well in life as an adult.

Sure. However, I wouldn’t hire anyone, male or female, whom I personally didn’t know and trust, to watch my children.

I don’t have any kids but if I were too - I’d make a point of hiring both male and female sitters alternately, just to make sure my kids don’t grow up with the idea that men are not as competent at childcare or are supposed to enjoy it less.

I’d screen male and female sitters with equal vim and vigour - wouldn’t like to leave them with a flake of either gender.

My brother and I had a babysitter named Jim. I guess he must have been a senior in highschool. He took us to a drive-in to see 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, along with his girlfriend. We all had just a great time–one of the best memories of my childhood.

That’s my long-winded way of answering your question: YES!

I’m 33 and have been “babysitting” since I was 12. Never saw it as babysitting, just making sure those in my charge were safe and didn’t do anything too stupid to end up in the ER.

Maybe it’s a trust issue. (Well, it better be a trust issue.) If you’re going to trust someone to keep your kid safe, I don’t see what the difference is in male or female. If you have doubts either way, stay home until you find someone you’re comfortable with.

I understand the fear some have with having an adult male watch their children. I’d be wary as well. But to outright dismiss it, or state the fear of molestation as the assumption is going a bit too far. I trust most here know my feelings about the worst case scenario, but outright dismissal based on a chromosome? I thought I was hardcore.

I dont have kids yet but plan to have them someday. In a setting such as a daycare where the man wasn’t the only adult, it wouldn’t bother me, but I would probably NOT hire a male babysitter if he was going to be with the child(ren) by himself.

I know that most men are not abusers, but it does seem like the majority of abusers are male. I don’t think it is prejudiced to say that men tend to be more sexually aggressive than women in general.

I realize men are capable of being nurturing and caring parents. My own father was a very caring and attentive parent. Sadly, there are too many men out there who are predators and ruin things for the good, trustworthy ones. I’ve herad too many stories of abuse even due to relatives (who you know and would expect to be able to trust) to be comfortable trusting my kids to a strange man I don’t know inside and out.

Holy shit! I better stop allowing myself to be alone with children. God only knows how many people think I’m abusing thier kids.

And I’m considered evil (not in this thread) for being so hardcore in demanding the death penalty for child molestors.

I need to reflect upon my core beleifs. I am male. I am bad.

Never! Any man who’d look after kids has to be a pervert!

That’s why I’m glad I hired idealistic women like Mary Kay LeTourneau and Pamela Smart to look after my son.

In this particular case, I’d have to ask the worrying mothers in so many words, “what the hell are you ON?” There’s very little chance that a man
– Temporarily running
– A large daycare
– As a favor to someone else
would be in it for access to children. The telling part is the number of kids: not only is it a better financial prospect but it’s also much harder to get “alone time” that way.

Which is not to say that men who babysit one or two children at a time are not slightly more likely to be abusers than women, especially if the children are well under puberty. But the point is that even in that case, you need to check out everyone, regardless of gender, since there are plenty of things wrong that can happen to your child besides molestation.

When I was only about two years old I had a male babysitter. Well, sort of. In India it’s still very much the attitude of whoever’s home will take care of the kids, so I could be left with the neighbors, etc. But he really loved me and so would come over all the time to see me,and I loved him - I’d toddle toward him, yelling, “Monty Bheya!” (Monty Brother). He was 25 or so…and he was really great.

I wouldn’t have too much of a problem. I’d use the same kind of careful criteria. But I don’t have any kids, so it’s moot.

Having an active imagination and a capacity to THINK of torments other people couldn’t conceive, I’d have no problem with a male babysitter even if he WASN’T one of my stepkids. :smiley:

I can think of just as many horrible things a truly sick girl could do to my kids.

As a nanny I see a lot of mothers make assumptions about who they hire. In general it seems that they are less likely to hire a male. I do see a general problem though with the people I encounter. Through general conversations at the pool or park mothers find out I am a child caretaker. Instantly they hand me a phone number, and some ask me about dates in particular.

If I had children I would entrust a male or female to watch them. The important thing is to screen thoroughly anyone you want to hire to watch your children. Although I am not a crazy maniac, those mother’s have no idea if I am and they just HAND me all contact information!! It seems women are more trusting of females over males…and I have to agree that a lot of it is media inspired.

My parents hired two brothers to babysit me and my brother; one or the other babysat depending on the day. One touched me inappropriately, one didn’t. There really isn’t a way to screen for this, and they both seemed like nice kids. I don’t know if this is more likely to occur with boy caretakers than girls.

I’m still angry about it, I’m angry that he has probably forgotten all about it and I still have to think about it. I’m pissed I didn’t tell my parents.

So I guess I don’t know what I would do, with the prospect of male or female babysitters. Chances are I won’t have kids and won’t have to deal with it.

My favorite babysitter when I was a kid was a guy, and I was just one female child alone with him. As far as I know it didn’t give my parents any pause - they checked him out just as well as they would have anybody. Honestly, though, we were lucky to ever get anybody because we lived so far out in the country. Christian used to play basketball with me and stuff, and he never talked on the phone. I don’t have any kids myself, but I can’t imagine I’d have a problem with male babysitters. I think it’s disgusting, the level of paranoia these days about child molesters. It’s very sad that guys who like kids get whispered about.

While it’s true, statistically, that males are more likely to molest children, there are terrible things females can do to them, too. I’ve had babysitters of both genders. The most important things, imho, are this: know the sitter, only hire one you really trust! Also, let your kids know (in non-scary terms) that every once in a while, there are babysitters who behave inappropriately. Let the kids know that any inappropriate behavior should be reported to you, and you will take care of it. Obviously, if you have an infant, this is moot. But for any kid who’s verbal, it’s vital.

My sentiments seem pretty common.

I had great male babysitters when I was a kid.

My son’s former daycare center had males on staff and I considered that a big plus. When he was in a home-based daycare, the owner’s husband would regularly take him along to run fun errands, or to the train station to see trains, stuff like that. I thought it was wonderful.

Yes, I’d readily hire a male babysitter.

A strange woman you don’t know inside and out though, that’d be just fine. As long as she has a vagina.