You might have noticed this yourself. There are almost no guy babysitters out there. It makes a lot of people wonder if guys can babysit at all.
Can men babysit? Of course, men can definitely babysit. However, there is a lot of stigma in child care. It can be more challenging for male caregivers to find work as a babysitter. However, it is definitely possible, and usually, when the babysitter has a number of positive reviews, finding work isn’t a problem.
In this post, we’ll go over some of the challenges that male babysitters face, as well as how to overcome them.
Can Guys Get Babysitting Jobs?
Guys can absolutely get babysitting jobs. It can sometimes be tricky, though. Generally, female babysitters are perceived as more capable, so finding work in childcare can be an uphill battle for a guy.
In order to find babysitting jobs, most guys have found that they really had to put in the work to build a reputation and get some recommendations. Once they had accumulated a few positive reviews, finding babysitting gigs became fairly doable.
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For women, though, it’s often much easier. Many people are more willing to try out a female babysitter that doesn’t have any work experience.
How Many Babysitters Are Guys?
According to an analysis done by Priceonomics, only about 2.9% of babysitters are male (source). Obviously, that’s a pretty low ratio of guys in the childcare workspace.
To be honest, it’s pretty interesting to look at what we can learn from an analysis of the gender differences in babysitting.
For example, guys make an average of $0.50/hour more from babysitting (source). It’s not huge, but it ain’t bad, either. Some people attribute this to the fact that guys are generally more confident in negotiations, but it sure doesn’t make sense considering it’s tougher for them to find a babysitting job. Either way, this is pretty interesting to see in a career that obviously has a stigma against fellas.
Why Are So Few Babysitters Male?
Honestly, there’s a pretty apparent stigma against guy babysitters. This can affect the ratio of guy babysitters in several ways.
For example, lots of people have the perception that guys are just plain uninterested in taking care of kids. It’s true that there are probably fewer guys than girls interested in this type of work.
Another opinion is that guys aren’t able to take care of kids as well as girls are. For example, some people think that guys aren’t naturally as nurturing or attentive. While it’s definitely not true, this is what some people think.
It’s not easy to change perceptions.
At the end of the day, all of this can be pretty demotivating. Very few people want to apply themselves to a job when the cards are stacked against them, and they’ll have to face stigma.
How strong is this stigma? Some job posting sites out there make it very clear that they don’t want to promote male sitters. For example, one site has a default setting that automatically filters out guys from the search results. In order to change that, the user needs to go into the advanced settings and tick the box to include men. How often do you peruse advanced search settings?
Ultimately, there’s no beating around the bush. Guys will face greater challenges in finding work as a sitter.
Why Don’t Some Parents Want To Hire Male Babysitters?
This is a really controversial subject. Here are the facts.
The #1 reason some parents will not hire male sitters is because of concerns with the potential risk of child molestation. Here are some stats that are concerning to parents:
- The rate of lifetime sexual abuse at the hands of adults is 1 in 9 girls, and 1 in 53 boys (source). Other sources claim that this number is actually 4/10 girls and 1/10 boys. Either way, it’s really high.
- In 88% of the sexual abuse claims that CPS substantiates or finds supporting evidence of, the perpetrator is male (source).
Stats are a tricky thing since they can be interpreted and presented in many different ways. For example, there are many harmful things that women are involved in just as much, if not more, than guys. According to compiled 2012 statistics related to child abuse in general, 54% of perpetrators were women, and 45% were men (source).
However, when it comes to statistics regarding babysitters committing criminal offenses against children, the percentages are pretty small. According to child maltreatment statistics in the US, the parents are far and away the most likely abusers at 91.7% (source).
Clearly, babysitters make up a relatively small portion of the reported offenses because they are only part of the remainder—you have lots of other possibilities, such as relatives other than parents, like aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Then there are step-parents and unmarried partners of parents, along with other non-family members such as caregivers and babysitters.
Among babysitters, 63% of offenders are men, in comparison to 37% of women. However, it is important to note that these statistics are skewed due to the overwhelmingly large proportion of women that are babysitting children. In other words, the women perpetrators’ numbers should then be much higher (source).
If you want a detailed article about the threats to children by babysitters, the US Department of Justice published an excellent study (source). Here are some highlights:
- Babysitters account for approximately 4.2% of crimes against children under the age of 6. This is significantly less than perpetrators that are family members (53.5% for children under 6, 21% for over 6), and even total strangers.
- For children over the age of 6, the percentage of children abused by babysitters (compared to other abusers) is reduced to 0.5%.
With this all said and done, it’s really easy to get lost in the numbers. Stats can be presented in different ways that aren't always realistic. It’s pretty rare to get a complete picture from a few simplified numbers.
Either way, it’s obvious that there’s still a risk, and concerns over a child’s well-being are totally valid.
Should Parents Discriminate?
It’s the parent’s responsibility to protect and care for their children. Even though nobody likes discrimination, protecting a child’s well-being comes first. In other words, if the parents aren’t comfortable with something, nobody should pressure them otherwise.
The stats also indicate that parents should screen everyone, not just guys. Things like background checks, scrutinizing references, etc., should be taken very seriously. Child abusers aren’t easy to identify, so parents shouldn’t just rely on “vibes.” In fact, the more successful perpetrators rely on not getting caught, so they really work on their game. People have often been shocked to find out that the nicest guy they know turned out to be a child sex abuser (source).
For other concerns, though, discrimination needs to be met with education. The idea that guys aren’t able to care for children as well as girls do simply isn’t true. Both genders have good and terrible babysitters.
Are Guys Good Babysitters?
Absolutely. In some cases, a guy might actually make a better babysitter!
For example, guys have more of a tendency to play outside and be more active when taking care of kids. For little boys, they might have a total blast playing in the sandbox with trucks. Wrestling, building forts, playing sports, sometimes all of these stereotypes are very true!
There might also be a situation where the kids need a “big brother” figure to look up to. Maybe they are being raised by a single mom, or the dad has to travel for work.
Either way, the quality of a babysitter isn’t gender-specific. Guys that are good babysitters are just as capable of taking great care of kids.
There’s no good reason for a guy that’s interested in child care to refrain from giving it a go. Guys will likely have a harder time getting started, especially if they’re trying to find work using an online platform. On the flip side, though, lots of families would actually prefer to have a guy they trust watch their kids.
Is babysitting a hard job?
Babysitting does take real work if you want to be good at it. Sleeping and playing on your phone all the time is not doing your job.
Taking care of kids requires effort. You need to engage them, which means playing and doing activities with them. You’ll also need to clean up any messes that you and the kids make.
If you want to know more about the challenges of babysitting and how to do it successfully, check out this article: Is Babysitting an Easy Job?
Can you babysit without qualifications?
In some areas, a certification for babysitting is required (see our post on babysitting licenses). Either way, getting some training is a really good idea if you want to take care of kids.
Common certifications include babysitting training, as well as CPR and first aid. These courses will make it easier to get a job and help you earn more money, too, since you’ll be able to charge more.
If you want to know more about babysitting qualifications, then read this post: Can You Babysit Without Qualifications?
If you're looking to gain new qualifications to get ahead of the competition, then read our article: 24 Babysitting Qualifications to learn which ones may be perfect for you.
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