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.
- Cold War
- Day care