Originally Posted by Hazelnut
My ds (5) says "Why a mommy? why not a daddy?" I suppose anyone with kids would be OK though. I think though, despite all his questions, he would look for a mommy if he were lost, now that we've talked about it. And that's what is important!
At the risk of overanalyzing this here's my "take" on it. Your kid is unlikely to know for sure whether the woman or man in question is a Mom or a Dad. The presence of other kids would only seem to offer some assurance of safety --independent of the parent/child relationship-- if those kids are verbal. Not just verbal, but articulate enough for another concerned adult to get a sense that this man picked another kid up along the way, molested them and/or stashed them somewhere.
It's not hard to imagine a scenario where a family friend has been entrusted with someone else's kid(s). They may look like a Dad but they aren't and while they may or may not take advantage of the kid(s) in their care you don't want your child effectively relying upon the judgment of anyone that misplaced their trust.
When your own child is a little older you might be able to try and explain that in the absence of someone that is probably a Mom that they may be better off with someone with older kids that are calling them "Dad" than they would be with a solo female, unless she is giving off a really strong "Mommy vibe". Otherwise you probably want to err on the side of keeping it simple.
As DeBecker puts it, the statistics speak for themselves. We ignore that at our children's peril. Obviously, that doesn't make men inherently more evil than women. But for reasons probably beyond the scope of this book thread, that evil can express itself differently.
Thanks for the thought provoking question. It makes me wonder if I should make a game of having my DDs pick the Mommy out of the crowd.