Do Nannies Cause Adultery?

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Did John Edwards and Mark Sanford have nannies growing up? The question springs to mind upon reading a Telegraph write-up of a book by Dr. Dennis Friedman, who claims that nannies give men "life-long double standards." The idea is both interesting and bizarre enough that Newser, too, has picked it up. Here's the excerpt from Freidman's book:

It creates a division in his mind between the woman he knows to be his natural mother and the woman with whom he has real hands-on relationship: the woman who bathes him and takes him to the park, and with whom he feels completely at one.

As a result, he grows up with the idea that although he will one day go through all the social and sexual formalities of marriage, he will have at the back of his mind the notion of this other woman, who not only knows, but caters for, all his needs.

And yet apparently, according to Dr. Friedman, all of this can be avoided merely by not hiring a nanny until after the baby's first year.

Is this all too Freudian to believe? Or, in hiring a nanny, have mothers everywhere ruined their daughters-in-law's lives before even meeting them?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.