" Eek! A Male! Treating all men as potential predators doesn't make our kids safer." This was the headline of a recent Wall Street Journal article by Lenore Skenazy.
Society tend to think that men that are interested in working with young children are pedofiles. I read an article about men working at early childhood development (ECD) sites overseas. They are not allowed to change the diapers of the babies. At some ECD sites they must even leave the room while the diaper is being changed. Are the people afraid that this will lead to sexual abuse? It gives the impression that men are sexual abusers, but women not.
When a woman hugs a child and kiss him on his cheeck, people will smile. If a man does the same people will frown. I know that I am generalizing, but have seen this happening. We place our students at ECD sites to do practical, but as soon as we must place a male, it becomes a challenge.
When I studied teaching (foundation phase) men that enrolled for this course were labeled as 'sissies' or 'gay'.
People think like this, because they want to ‘protect’ the children, but they are taking away the privilege of children to also bond with a male figure. So many children grow up in homes with single mothers and there are fathers that do not want to take the responsibility of fatherhood. At the day care centre the child can have the opportunity to identify with a strong, positive male figure.
We need more men working at ECD sites!