Friday, May 16, 2014

Male Babysitters --- Positive to All


by Brig Bagley

16 May 2014

This article on KSL rang some important bells for me with the LDS and gay mixed background I have. It is a common stigma, especially in Utah, that males (teens especially) are prone to hormones, sex, and molesting children. But this article decides to debunk that perception with facts. There are plenty of misconceptions of boys that have actually harmed progress for both families as well as these teen boys.

I was myself, a male teen babysitter for a few families. I was used repeatedly between middle school and high school with a few families. The kids were mainly male, but there were a few female children, too. Being gay didn't weigh in the equation at that time, since I denied that part of me. But it surprises me that male sitters are avoided simply because a paranoid parent thinks that every teenage boy is out to rape children.

This paranoia only adds to the problem. If male teens are told they are at risk of raping kids, they will believe it, and will be more likely do it. Similar to the judicial system, don't make someone guilty until they have proven guilty. Sure, you are taking a risk, but as the article suggests, you are more at risk with family members and strangers than a sitter. The comments even mention that girls are more prone to ignore kids by texting, putting the kids in potential danger. 

It is also worthy to note that males can bring another perspective to the children, often being more playful and creative. Males tend to be able to focus more, and have more difficulty multitasking as well, which causes them to focus more on the children, giving them more attention. This isn't a blanket truth, but it is very common.

The article also notes how giving male teens an opportunity to be with children can help them grow to be better fathers. It emphasizes how men can be nurturing and caring as well. Males need to learn how to raise and care for children just as women. Removing males from children promotes the idea that men are helpless with care-taking. If a man believes he is helpless with children, he WILL avoid the children, depriving kids of their needed father experiences. 

To extract the article even further, this message positively shows that a gay couple can have all of the necessary attributes to raise children. Males can be nurturing, which falsifies the "role of the mother" that the LDS religion claims. "The Family: A Proclamation to the World", a Mormon document endlessly quoted by Mormons, simply states that women primarily  children at home, while men provide, protect, and preside over the family. This is the only differentiation between the genders. Every other statement in the document is gender non-specific and can be accomplished by anyone, minus the small fact that homosexuality is considered immoral by religious decree only. This article accurately claims that this perception of men is unhealthy and wrong to males.

Although the author probably didn't intend for this to be extrapolated from the article, it brings to light a separate perspective that invalidates the LDS stigma of homosexuality, falsifying its scientifically unsound claims.

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