"a Father's Touch:" Negotiating masculinity and sexual subjectivity in child care

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This essay explores changing attitudes towards male caregivers in postwar America to understand conceptions of prepubescent gender and sexuality. While the 1950s have been viewed as a period of rigid gender conventions, the demands of a baby boom generation allowed men unexpected roles as caregivers. In the 1960s and 1970s, challenges to the status quo along with fears of female-headed households encouraged men to move into the field of child care, but this was particularly short lived. Political backlash and a failing economy turned male daycare workers into suspects, revealing the ambiguity that so often distorts children's interactions with men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-290
Number of pages16
JournalSexuality and Culture
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • 1970s
  • Babysitters
  • Childcare
  • Cold War
  • Day care
  • Homosexuality
  • Masculinity

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