Gender and Babysitter Choice

The stereotypical image of the teenage boy is a case study in irresponsibility. The teenage boy is reckless, obnoxious, entirely hormonal, generally out of control, and completely unable to cope with any sense of duty. This is the last person that you would want to baby-sit your child!

The traditional image of a babysitter is that of a teenage girl who wants to earn some extra money to spend at the mall. She’s into children, and especially enjoys spending time with your children. In this stereotype, the worst thing that might happen while she is babysitting is that she will spend too much time on the phone, or perhaps she will allow junior to sneak an extra cookie while she’s watching television. Babysitting is even seen as very early preparation for raising her own children someday.

Still, stereotypes are just that: stereotypes. These ideas may not always be accurate. statistical data on the subject of abuse by babysitters goes both ways: while male babysitters commit more sexual assault than female babysitters, female babysitters commit more physical abuse than male babysitters. In addition, it is important to remember that abuse by babysitters is the exception rather than the rule; The vast majority of abusers (according to some studies about 90%) are not babysitters at all but rather are family members or acquaintances.

Regardless of whether you are considering a male or female babysitter, there are more important characteristics to consider. Is the babysitter responsible? Are they a quick thinker? Are they able to respond in an emergency? Are they trained in first aid? Do they enjoy being with your children? Do the children enjoy being with the babysitter?

When trying to find a babysitter, you have to determine what is most important for you. Are your kids a bit unruly and undisciplined? Get a babysitter who can implement your disciplinary instructions well. This could certainly be a female, but more often might be a male. Do you have three girls who all like to play dress-up? A male babysitter probably may not be very entertaining; a female babysitter might be more appropriate. Ultimately, while gender may play a part in selecting a babysitter, it is generally not the deciding factor. Issues like personality and overall responsibility ought to outweigh concerns about gender.