WHY NOT?

07.19.13

Wanted: Male Babysitters

Until fairly recently, men were actually favored as caretakers.

At one time, men were actually preferred as babysitters. According to The Atlantic, “teenage girls were dismissed as flighty and self-absorbed” as babysitters until around the 1920s, when more people started moving to suburbs. And in the 1950s, “it was up to male sitters to instill manliness in young boys and turn boys into hardy men,” according to the article. Boys were still seen as ideal caretakers as late as the 1970s, and some books in the 1990s prominently featured male babysitters. The article goes on to reveal that 23 percent of the 7.9 million boys in the United States worked as babysitters in 1957, collectively earning around $319 million. Not too shabby, guys. For now, babysitting is widely considered a girl’s job, but maybe the gender lines won’t be so rigid once again in the future.