Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Babysitting


H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Archive Images/Getty Images
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Archive Images/Getty Images

By the time The Babysitters Club hit bookshelves, amateur childcare already had a buckwild history. Cristen and Caroline chart the invention, gender panic and economic boom of the babysitting industry.

Episode Sources:

"In era of stalled wages, baby sitters surging ahead" https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/08/11/babysitter-economics-parents-reel-sitters-rake/H10XS1PjLfimcYOXlIVL0M/story.html

"Inside the trillion-dollar underground economy keeping many Americans (barely) afloat in desperate times" http://www.alternet.org/story/152446/inside_the_trillion-dollar_underground_economy_keeping_many_americans_(barely)_afloat_in_desperate_times

"Few babysitting laws means you make the rules" http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2015/11/few-babysitting-laws-means-you-make-the-rules.html

"Even in babysitting, men make more than women" http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/03/even-in-babysitting-men-make-more-than-women/284426/

"Babysitting and the gender pay gap" https://www.ellevatenetwork.com/articles/6538-babysitting-and-the-gender-pay-gap

"Don't fear the male babysitter" http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/07/dont-fear-the-male-babysitter/277924/

"The curse of the celebrity nanny" http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/30/the-curse-of-the-celebrity-nanny.html

"Babysitter: An American History (review)" http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/hcy/summary/v003/3.2.nash.html

"Adventures in feministory: The history of the babysitter" https://bitchmedia.org/post/adventures-in-feministory-the-history-of-the-babysitter

Academic Insights:

"Babysitter: An American History." Miriam Forman-Brunell. NYU Press. July 26, 2009. http://www.amazon.com/Babysitter-American-History-Miriam-Forman-Brunell/dp/081472759X

"Truculent and Tractable: The Gendering of Babysitting in Postwar America." Miriam Forman-Brunell. Delinquents and Debutantes: Twentieth-Century American Girls' Cultures, Sherrie A. Inness, ed. NYU Press. Aug. 1, 1998. https://books.google.com/books?id=ykmFbovkirEC&dq=babysitter+unions&source=gbs_navlinks_s

"Imagined Bobby-Soxer Babysitters and the Uses of Girls' Work Culture." Miriam Forman-Brunell. The Girls' History and Culture Reader: The Twentieth Century. University of Illinois Press. 2011. https://books.google.com/books?id=2A93c_JS6sQC&dq=racial+issues+babysitting&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Topics in this Podcast: sexuality, gender, parenting, pop culture, women's work, stereotypes


More to Explore