Do Nannies Make Men Womanisers?

25 March 2010

Mark Owen blamed it on drink. Tiger on ‘moving away from Buddhism’. Now, a psychiatrist has come up with a new excuse for cheating - one we bet Jude Law had thought of, when he split from Sienna…  According to psychiatrist Dr Dennis Freidman, men who had nannies or au pairs as children are more likely to grow into womanisers.

The sexology behind what we’re calling ‘Mary Poppins Syndrome’ is a baby boy who’s raised by two ‘mother figures’ (his natural mother and hired help) will grow-up believing it takes two women to cater for him.

‘A nanny creates the notion of this other woman,’ said Dr Friedman, ‘who knows and caters to all his needs. As an adult, a wife will take the place of a mother – leaving a vacancy for a care-giver who’s ‘more hands on.’

Working mothers of the fairer sex shouldn’t be any less worried. Dr Friedman says girls raised by nannies may also grow into troubled adults - turning to drink or sex to fill the ‘vacuum of need’ created by their mother’s absence when they were little.

Dr Friedman isn’t against mothers having a career, but says it’s important to stay at home for the first year of your child’s life, as this is when the damage is done.  

Do you think infidelity can really be blamed on the nanny? It explains why teenage boys drool over their babysitters, and the cliché of fathers fooling around with their kid’s carers.

Maybe Poppins wasn’t such a ‘practically perfect’ choice after all…  

By Amy Molloy


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