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Thread: Are We Teaching Our Kids To Be Fearful of Men?

  1. #1
    Reign of Fire...Judgement m's Avatar m is offline
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    Jun 2005

    Question Are We Teaching Our Kids To Be Fearful of Men?

    Are We Teaching Our Kids To Be Fearful of Men?
    August 23, 2007

    A Virginia public-service ad that angered
    fathers'-rights groups.

    When children get lost in a mall, they're supposed to find a "low-risk
    adult" to help them. Guidelines issued by police departments and
    child-safety groups often encourage them to look for "a pregnant
    woman," "a mother pushing a stroller" or "a grandmother."

    The implied message: Men, even dads pushing strollers, are "high-risk."

    Are we teaching children that men are out to hurt them? The answer,
    on many fronts, is yes. Child advocate John Walsh advises parents to
    never hire a male babysitter. Airlines are placing unaccompanied minors
    with female passengers rather than male passengers. Soccer leagues
    are telling male coaches not to touch players.

    Child-welfare groups say these are necessary precautions, given that
    most predators are male. But fathers' rights activists and educators
    now argue that an inflated predator panic is damaging men's relationships
    with kids. Some men are opting not to get involved with children at all,
    which partly explains why many youth groups can't find male leaders,
    and why just 9% of elementary-school teachers are male, down from
    18% in 1981.

    People assume that all men "have the potential for violence and sexual
    aggressiveness," says Peter Stearns, a George Mason University
    professor who studies fear and anxiety. Kids end up viewing every male
    stranger "as a potential evildoer," he says, and as a byproduct, "there's
    an overconfidence in female virtues."

    In Michigan, the North Macomb Soccer Club has a policy that at least
    one female parent must always sit on the sidelines, to guard against
    any untoward behavior by male coaches. In Churchville, Pa., soccer
    coach Barry Pflueger says young girls often want a hug after scoring a
    goal, but he refrains. Even when girls are injured, "you must comfort
    them without touching them, a very difficult thing to do," he says. "It
    saddens me that this is what we've come to."

    TV shows, including the Dateline NBC series "To Catch a Predator,"
    hype stories about male abusers. Now social-service agencies are also
    using controversial tactics to spread the word about abuse. This summer,
    Virginia's Department of Health mounted an ad campaign for its
    sex-abuse hotline. Billboards featured photos of a man holding a child's
    hand. The caption: "It doesn't feel right when I see them together."

    More than 200 men emailed complaints about the campaign to the
    health department. "The implication is that if you see a man holding a
    girl's hand, he's probably a predator," says Marc Rudov, who runs the
    fathers' rights site "In other words, if you see
    a father out with his daughter, call the police."

    Virginia's campaign was designed to encourage people to trust their
    instincts about possible abuse, says Rebecca Odor, director of sexual
    and domestic violence prevention for the state health department. She
    stands by the ads, pointing out that 89% of child sex-abuse perpetrators
    in Virginia are male.

    Mr. Walsh, host of Fox's "America's Most Wanted," began advocating
    for missing children in 1981, after his son was killed by a stranger. He
    knows some men are offended by his advice to never hire a male
    babysitter. But as he sees it, if a teenage boy wants to experiment with
    sex, you don't want him using your kids.

    "It's not a witch hunt," he says. "It's all about minimizing risks. What dog
    is more likely to bite and hurt you? A Doberman, not a poodle. Who's more
    likely to molest a child? A male."

    Airlines use similar reasoning when they seat unaccompanied minors only
    with women. They are trying to decrease the odds of a problem. Certainly,
    many men would be safe seatmates for kids, but sometimes, especially on
    overnight flights in darkened cabins, "you have to make generalizations for
    the safety of a child," says Diana Fairechild, an expert witness in aviation
    disputes. Airlines have had decades of experience monitoring the gender
    of abusive seatmates, she adds, quoting a line repeated in airline circles:
    "No regulation in aviation takes effect without somebody's blood on it."

    Most men understand the need to be cautious, so they're willing to take
    a step back from children, or to change seats on a plane. One abused
    child is one too many. Still, it's important to maintain perspective. "The
    number of men who will hurt a child is tiny compared to the population,"
    says Benjamin Radford, who researches statistics on predators and is
    managing editor of the science magazine Skeptical Inquirer. "Virtually all
    of the time, if a child is lost or in trouble, he will be safe going to the
    nearest male stranger."



  2. #2
    Unique woman TriniTrini's Avatar TriniTrini is offline
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    Aug 2007
    Success City

    This is shocking and unfortunate.
    This sends the wrong message. Yes statistics show this and that about the sex of the predators but why can't the majority of the men allowed to be human. They already can't shed their own tears in public.

    If a child needs to be comforted if she/he is crying or is hurt where is the harm. Teaching kids to fear men could have a backlash. what If a child is lost in a building where majority of the workers are men? What is to become of the child.

    Many men already have lost rights where their children are concerned. A good amount are taken to child support court unfairly. Children need positive male role models especially the boys. Surely there has to be another way to approach things. How about teaching how to identify signs of predatory behavior and what to do.

    A child should always be placed closest to the stewardesses for safety.

    Positive images in my community:
    1. Have seen many males who have helped to protect the youth. Tell some young mothers to hold their child's hand on in various situations.
    2. I have actually seen some in my community hold on to a child if he sees a child might get hurt
    3. One time I saw a man grasp a young boy to prevent him from going down the escalator

    I wonder what the statistics are for female predators/perverts?
    Any stranger could be a danger to a child no matter the sex of the adult.

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