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#61 of 117 Old 10-31-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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ok, OP-- for me it's case by case. If the boy makes you feel weird or hesitate, or post on here and ask us, then no-- you're not TOTALLY comfortable with him if you're asking.

There are 13 yo boys I would let bbsit, and those I wouldn't for a variety of reasons, maturity, red flags, respect for boundaries in general, how his parents treated him (and thus how he has a reasonable expectation to believe "this is how children are treated"), etc.


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Statisticly men do molest more often.Unfortunate,but that is how it is.Perhaps it has to do with a hormonal drive,but women are not always the safe haven we expect them to be.
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The statistics are based on criminal records. Female abusers are rarely even investigated because the victims don't report or aren't believed. The statistics don`t tell us anything except societies own bias.
actually, as long as any abuse goes unreported there is just no way to know who abuses more often. It could very well be that men abuse more often-- maybe it is not society's bias-- it could be true. It may be that women abuse more often. It may be so under-reported that female abusers are a hidden majority. It may be roughly equal, but this was way off topic to the original poster's question...
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#62 of 117 Old 10-31-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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I wouldn't let a 13 year old boy or girl watch my kids. I don't think they are old enough, partly because I was considered a mature 13 year old and babysat at that age, and looking back, I realize how much I didn't know, and how unprepared I would have been for any real emergency.
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#63 of 117 Old 10-31-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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This has been an interesting thread to me because of all the opinions and reasons for them. Of course now I'll take the opportunity to give mine!

I used to babysit from the time I was 12 and this was at a resort that offered in house babysitting. I also took jobs in the neighborhood.
I have to admit to getting a little scared at night and hoping the parents would get home soon because it was very dark outside and a rural area.

Anyway, I took care of boys and girls and had to do diapers and sometimes wipe butts and it never occurred to me that this in any way was sexual!
It was just stinky and something to get done as soon as possible.
For kids that were that old (5 years), boys or girls, I remember standing at the door of the bathroom and just asking if they needed help getting toilet paper or whatever but they did it themselves.
I just don't think it would really come up unless you were gone for a long time and she had to do more than just pee.

My DD is 5 years old and takes care of wiping by herself mostly though does ask for help with poop sometimes.
If I had a 13 year old boy babysitting DD, she would not want him or anyone besides me coming in to help anyway. But I really can't imagine a 13 year old boy being more likely to sexually experiment with a 5 year old girl any more than a 13 year old girl would.

A boy who has gone through a babysitting class sounds pretty responsible and is probably looking for the only work available for a boy his age. Even paper routes are mostly going to drivers instead of kids walking them.

As far as wiping women's butts, my husband is a nurse and I can guarantee you that he does not get sexually excited over it, it is his job.

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#64 of 117 Old 10-31-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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How would you feel about this? If he has taken a safe-sitter/child cpr class, you know the parents very well, and he's a very sweet, responsible kid whom your daughter adores? Would the gender difference alone affect your comfort level with the idea?
If he is sweet, responsible and trustworthy, and you normally leave your child with a 13 year old sitter, then the gender shouldn't affect your choice.

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#65 of 117 Old 10-31-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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Its not that I feel every man is a molester. But there are just some things I would not be comfortable having a man/boy help my daughters with. There are things I would not have been comfortable with at 5 and doubt any of my daughters would have been comfortable with. I just think it is better for girls to have female caregivers in matter that might involve personal help. I will only have a female Dr and nurses, and I can't think of anything else but anything that may involve touching me or helping me change clothes or go to the bathroom or anything that I would feel caused me to be immodest....only other women. Same for my dd and I think a babysitter fits into that category. And I think I would prefer a male babysitter if I had preschool+ aged sons. You know, because some things just be handled among men.

And if I had a son I would probably not let him baby sit at all. It is so easy for people to accuse and it just doesn't seem very safe for him. But then again none of my dds babysit and I probably wouldn't let them either. Just too many risks being left alone with a child who, if mad enough at their babysitter could accuse. And in educating our children in what is bad touching and what is good touching and tell until someone believes you etc we really also teach them how to quickly get even with a babysitter/family member they are mad at (I know someone who did it. To this day the guilt eats away at him. ) If you are boy that risk is just so high. I would maybe let my son babysit another boy but definitely not a girl. why invite trouble?

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#66 of 117 Old 10-31-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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actually, as long as any abuse goes unreported there is just no way to know who abuses more often. It could very well be that men abuse more often-- maybe it is not society's bias-- it could be true. It may be that women abuse more often. It may be so under-reported that female abusers are a hidden majority. It may be roughly equal, but this was way off topic to the original poster's question...
Is it? The OP was asking if you'd let a 13 year old boy babysit a 5 year old girl. Some posters say no because they believe that men are statistically more likely to abuse a child, so I say the statistics don't tell people squat.

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#67 of 117 Old 10-31-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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Boys/Men are visual and a butt and vagina is a butt and vagina.
You know, on a closer look, this makes no sense to me. A butt and a vagina are a butt and vagina to a girl too. What else would it be? An arm and a leg? A thirteen year old boy is no more likely to see a naked 5 year old and think "sex" than a thirteen year old girl is to look at a 5 year old boy and think "sex".

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#68 of 117 Old 10-31-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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When I was 5 my older brothers were 12 and 13 and would sit for me all the time. We all survived, and nobody got molested. My brothers would even have to give me baths. They would sit for other families from time to time, but for the most part they weren't very interested.

What would make me stop and think on the gender thing is that, on average, girls are much more mature at 13 than most boys. But this isn't an accross the board thing, so I would absolutely consider on a case by case basis.

If I were to have a 13yo babysitter of either gender I would want them to have experience with either younger siblings or cousins, or have worked in the kids program at our church or something. I wouldn't want my kid to be their first time looking after another child.

All of our sitters tend to belong to our church, and be members of families we know well. My DD would only be comfortable with someone that she knows well, so that is a consideration as well. But not gender. There are a number of boys I would be very willing to leave DD with, but for the most part they aren't interested (we have hired them to do some yardwork for us, which seems more up their alley).

On the whole, I would much rather have a 13yo boy who plays with my kid, than a 16yo girl who just texts all night.

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#69 of 117 Old 10-31-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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You know, on a closer look, this makes no sense to me. A butt and a vagina are a butt and vagina to a girl too. What else would it be? An arm and a leg? A thirteen year old boy is no more likely to see a naked 5 year old and think "sex" than a thirteen year old girl is to look at a 5 year old boy and think "sex".
Indeed. I don't see that a 5-year-old girl's bottom looks any different from a 5-year-old boy's, if it comes to that - the differences don't show up until puberty, when girls' hips widen. And a prepubescent vagina looks nothing like a post-pubescent one. So... I don't get it.

I mean, some boys molest animals, but I wouldn't say that asking a teenage boy to pet-sit was automatically leading him into temptation. If he wasn't that way inclined, I don't see how being in close proximity to an animal would be temptation. It would be... irrelevant.

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#70 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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I just have to add my two cents. First, I have a son, and in no way do I think it is typical for boys to be molesting kids. BUT, having worked professionally in the child welfare field and also with survivors of sexual abuse, it seems that the statistics are correct and abusers are typically male. The stats aren't based just on criminal reports...to whoever suggested that is why they are skewed.

I am extremely leary of leaving anyone with my child, and a great deal of that is because of my work experience. There is NO WAY I would leave my five year old girl or my five year old boy with a 13 year old boy. No way. Never. Partly because of age, but also gender.

I really see what people are trying to say with refusing to look at all men as perpetrators, and that is just wonderful, but there is no way that I would put my child's safety as a lower priority than refusing to look at males as potential perpetrators. At one point, I was interviewing adults as part of a separate project and this was a random group of adults...and probably a third or so of them had been sexually abused. All that I can recall were abused by family members or babysitters (including one female babysitter...the rest all males). I just wouldn't risk it.

Last, I have to point out that most definitely it is good to prep your kid on appropriate touching, open communication, etc, but the bottom line is that even *child* sex offenders are *very* good at telling their victims things that make the child way way way too scared to tell anyone. So I wouldn't bank on Johnny or Sally saying "hang on a second. this isn't okay and I'm calling my mom now" and using that as a strategy. That is about as unrealistic of a scenario as I can think of. Good luck with your decision.
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#71 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 05:58 AM
 
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You know, on a closer look, this makes no sense to me. A butt and a vagina are a butt and vagina to a girl too. What else would it be? An arm and a leg? A thirteen year old boy is no more likely to see a naked 5 year old and think "sex" than a thirteen year old girl is to look at a 5 year old boy and think "sex".
Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES.

Men and boys are not perverts by definition.

There is a difference between people that prey on children and those that like other adults of reproductive age!

Now, I would NOT leave two teens or a teen and a pre-teen that was clearly entering puberty together. As a babysitter/child couple or just... you know. LOL!

But normal boys and girls do not look at children as sexual objects.

I am leery of any statistic that suggest that 1/3 of people have been molested. I'm going to ask. I have never seen such a number. Not sure where this was or what else these people had in common or the definition of molestation, but that number is incredibly high. And I mean "incredible" literally.

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#72 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 08:48 AM
 
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I am a survivor of abuse, perpetrated by another child, my brother.

For me 13 is too young. WAY too young. 16...maybe, but 17 or 18 would be a more realistic minimum for me.

Male vs. female....i'd need to know the teenager AND his/her family to call that one. My friend's son is 15 and i can imagine at 17 or so i would trust him to look after 5+yo kids. My DD rarely needs help with the toilet and if she did i know he would assist her with mild distaste and get it over with as quick as possible. But i know him, and i know his folks/family and their dynamic. His mum is a MW (was MY MW) and he's used to the female form in all its various forms, i wouldn't be concerned that he would see a butt and think "oh my i gotta investigate" when wiping down my 5yo. There is a woman, a grown woman, in my family i would never leave my kids with, because she is toxic. I don't think she would sexually molest specifically, but i wouldn't put any kind of abuse past her. I do not trust her, she feels "icky" to me in my gut. Our neighbour's DD is 18 or 19 and i would leave DD with her in a heartbeat. I know her family, i know her, she's responsible and kind, DD loves her, there would be no worries for me. If i had to pick between my friends DS and my neighbours DD i'd chose my neighbours DD, but that's mainly because MY DD would want to play dolls, put on nail varnish and sparkles and play dancing and i think my neighbours DD would enjoy that more than the friend's DS.

A lot can be said about abuse and risk assessment and so on. I think EVERYONE should read Protecting The Gift. And beyond that you need to know who the people you're leaving kids with are, where they come from (family dynamics) and above all, be willing to reassess them at any stage. Most abuse occurs because a parent considers someone once, decides they're ok, and then refuses to re-examine that opinion even in the face of quite scary information. For example my parents decided our headmaster of the elementary school was a fine babysitter. They decided when they found a 16-year-old foreign exchange student who was staying with that man hysterically sobbing in his home and begging them not to tell anyone that "he must be gay then and they've had a tiff" (WTF? He was SIXTEEN and hundreds of miles from his home and family!) and continued to leave us there. My brother was another victim of this man and i was a victim of my brother. People will go to incredible lengths to avoid looking at the ugly thing right in front of their faces. It is no good, really, assuming that every teenage boy might molest, when what you need to do is ADMIT when you suspect a good, loved, wonderful teenage boy you thought you knew is doing so.
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#73 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 08:50 AM
 
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I am leery of any statistic that suggest that 1/3 of people have been molested. I'm going to ask. I have never seen such a number. Not sure where this was or what else these people had in common or the definition of molestation, but that number is incredibly high. And I mean "incredible" literally.
There's a stat floating around that 1 in 3 women have been sexually assaulted, but it was derived from a study many find flawed. (Link to a Christina Hoff Sommers article- she's not exactly a Friedan-feminist.)



For those who think boys should have no part in babysitting/childcare, what do you plan on doing when your sons become fathers? Will you still worry that any contact with a child's genitals will lead to molestation or temptation?

It's just plain unfair to limit the responsibilities and roles of boys for fear of inappropriate behavior while still expecting them to grow up as healthy, functioning men.

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#74 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 09:04 AM
 
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Let's see.

I do believe that men molest more often than women. The statistics might be off, but not by that much.

I used to babysit at 13 for kids who were about 5 and nobody thought 13 was too young in the early 80s.

I have a friend whose teenage son has babysat my girls, including the one who still needs diapers changed. I was not worried that he would molest my kids. He's a great babysitter.
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#75 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 09:10 AM
 
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I have a 16 year old son and another son due in January. It makes me sad that they will be growing up in a world where there are people who will discriminate against them and assume that they are suspicious of being child abusers just because they happened to be born with a penis.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#76 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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There's a stat floating around that 1 in 3 women have been sexually assaulted, but it was derived from a study many find flawed. (Link to a Christina Hoff Sommers article- she's not exactly a Friedan-feminist.)



For those who think boys should have no part in babysitting/childcare, what do you plan on doing when your sons become fathers? Will you still worry that any contact with a child's genitals will lead to molestation or temptation?

It's just plain unfair to limit the responsibilities and roles of boys for fear of inappropriate behavior while still expecting them to grow up as healthy, functioning men.
You know, this is sad, but i hate to say it, it is not the first time I have been faced with this same attitude. When dh was contemplating his options after retiring from the military, he considered getting his degree in early childhood development. He wanted to open a daycare. I posed the question on a board as to who would leave their child in a daycare run by a man, just to see what women thought. I only had about 4 people say that it wouldn't bother them to leave their child their. The other 20 or so other people said they would question why any man would want to spend all day with kids. It was sad, one woman said she questions when her dh played with her children and insisted that a man does not enjoy those things and he must be pretending to enjoy it so the kids would be happy. This attitude seems to be really prevalent.

By the way, dh loves kids. He just does, he loves playing with them, he's more gentle than I am, and he is most definately NOT a molester.

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#77 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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You know, this is sad, but i hate to say it, it is not the first time I have been faced with this same attitude. When dh was contemplating his options after retiring from the military, he considered getting his degree in early childhood development. He wanted to open a daycare. I posed the question on a board as to who would leave their child in a daycare run by a man, just to see what women thought. I only had about 4 people say that it wouldn't bother them to leave their child their. The other 20 or so other people said they would question why any man would want to spend all day with kids. It was sad, one woman said she questions when her dh played with her children and insisted that a man does not enjoy those things and he must be pretending to enjoy it so the kids would be happy. This attitude seems to be really prevalent.

By the way, dh loves kids. He just does, he loves playing with them, he's more gentle than I am, and he is most definately NOT a molester.
That's so sad about the woman questioning her own husband. I can totally see opening a daycare a dream for some men. especially if they have kids who are still daycare age, because they could be there for their own children as well. I grew up with a dad who is baby-crazy, as much as the women in my family(and I swear we are the most baby-crazy people I have ever met). and DF has been a stay-at-home dad most of DD's life, though he is more of a kid person than a baby person

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#78 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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For me age is the factor, not the gender.
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#79 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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No I would not.Given the right circumstances very nice people commit sexual acts they would might normally never do.Urges happen.
Yep.

My brother and I were babysat by a 15 year old boy. We were 6 & 8. He was just the sweetest kid, everyone loved him.

He layed on the couch, took off his belt, and told us to play doctor with him. He encouraged us towards certain regions that needed "help."

I am not interested in placing my tiny daughter in a position of potential risk to uphold some ideological notion that we must not ever imply that a male might be a molester.

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#80 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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I have a 16 year old son and another son due in January. It makes me sad that they will be growing up in a world where there are people who will discriminate against them and assume that they are suspicious of being child abusers just because they happened to be born with a penis.
Most generally, those of us who are cautious about leaving defenseless girls with young men do so because we have had a specific experience (or multiple experiences) that have taught us to feel that way.

It isn't discrimination. Do you voluntarily walk through a bad neighborhood at night, creating a situation for greater than usual likelihood for potential harm, to prove that you don't discriminate against minorities/the impoverished/etc?

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#81 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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My last thought- I'll stop serial posting after this- is that I may allow a 13 year old girl to watch my 5 year old. Maybe. I would have to know the girl very well. I cared for my infant brother at that age.

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#82 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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Most generally, those of us who are cautious about leaving defenseless girls with young men do so because we have had a specific experience (or multiple experiences) that have taught us to feel that way.

It isn't discrimination. Do you voluntarily walk through a bad neighborhood at night, creating a situation for greater than usual likelihood for potential harm, to prove that you don't discriminate against minorities/the impoverished/etc?
Those aren't analogous unless you see teen boys as being a risk in and of themselves, which it seems some of you do.

Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.

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#83 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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Those aren't analogous unless you see teen boys as being a risk in and of themselves, which it seems some of you do.
I see them as riskier than other caretakers (post pubescent ones, generally,) in some situations, yes.

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#84 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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Most generally, those of us who are cautious about leaving defenseless girls with young men do so because we have had a specific experience (or multiple experiences) that have taught us to feel that way.

It isn't discrimination. Do you voluntarily walk through a bad neighborhood at night, creating a situation for greater than usual likelihood for potential harm, to prove that you don't discriminate against minorities/the impoverished/etc?
Than I may as well keep my kids away from all adult women. And adult men. Seeing as I was molested by both. I guess that leaves my children with... Um... I guess they can raise themselves.

Dh and I would rather make sure we trust any person who watches our children, regardless of gender, with the lives of our children.

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#85 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Than I may as well keep my kids away from all adult women. And adult men. Seeing as I was molested by both. I guess that leaves my children with... Um... I guess they can raise themselves.

I was not molested by anyone, so I suppose I can trust that weird guy in the clown suit who drives a panel van to babysit my daughter, since everything that happened or didn't happen to me will be the same for her.

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."



I'm still curious how those who feel young men and boys are all potential molesters/rapists plan on raising confident men who will be good fathers who don't have their heads clouded with the idea that their mother is judging them for bathing or changing their own daughters.

Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.

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#86 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES.

Men and boys are not perverts by definition.

There is a difference between people that prey on children and those that like other adults of reproductive age!

Now, I would NOT leave two teens or a teen and a pre-teen that was clearly entering puberty together. As a babysitter/child couple or just... you know. LOL!

But normal boys and girls do not look at children as sexual objects.

I am leery of any statistic that suggest that 1/3 of people have been molested. I'm going to ask. I have never seen such a number. Not sure where this was or what else these people had in common or the definition of molestation, but that number is incredibly high. And I mean "incredible" literally.
I don't find it incredible at all. While I'm sure there's a "we find each other" phenomenon at work, I had a large group of friends in high school, and almost all of the girls had been sexually abused at some point. This was by about age 15, so if you add in adult rape, I'm sure the number of women who have been molested is very high. And, ime, there are a significant number of boys who have been molested at an early age, as well.

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#87 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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Like I said, I believe that even if the statistics aren't 100% accurate, that there's something to them, and they clearly show that men molest children more than women, at least pre-pubescent children. I'm not sure if it's as clear in regard to post-pubescent children

However, it's still a minority of men. And women can still do it, and women have higher rates of other kinds of abuse. Sexual abuse is not the only traumatic abuse out there.

I really think this is a case of having to know the people who are watching your kids. You can't completely eliminate the risk of your kids every being hurt by anyone, but trusting no one is as useless as trusting everyone when evaluating real risk. You need to look at more than just the gender.

(And as I said, a teenage boy has babysat my dds, so I'm not opposed to male babysitters.)
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#88 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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You can't completely eliminate the risk of your kids every being hurt by anyone, but trusting no one is as useless as trusting everyone when evaluating real risk.
This. Well said.

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#89 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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Okay. So you think that most thirteen-year-olds have a propensity to experiment with children?
The deciding factor isn't about if most boys would do something, but rather if boys are more likely than girls to do something inappropriate.

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#90 of 117 Old 11-01-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Than I may as well keep my kids away from all adult women. And adult men. Seeing as I was molested by both. I guess that leaves my children with... Um... I guess they can raise themselves.


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Dh and I would rather make sure we trust any person who watches our children, regardless of gender, with the lives of our children.
I'm with you. I think getting hung up on gender misses the larger point of knowing the people you leave your children with.

If we were discussing any other trait, such as the race or religion of a baby sitter, even asking the question would be offensive.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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