We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's nothing new in human cultures. It's been around forever. It's not culture that becomes sexualized, it's human nature. I think my point was that when you place mixed sexes in close proximity, really regardless of age, chemical things happen for a hundred different reasons. Often with unfortunate consequences. Work, home, school, wherever. More so today with coed campi and many women in the workforce.
Truth is, it can be overstimulating for both men and women. Overstimulating, and too easy for the weak of character and conscience.
My advice from such experience: Guys, if you desire your family's au pair, get rid of her. If you can't take your mind off your receptionist's body, get rid of her and hire an old lady.
This is why everybody needs his or her own code of behavior, and his or her own boundaries. No need to invent one's own because many smart people have thought about it already. God, too, as a gift to us.
"Guys, if you desire your family's au pair, get rid of her. If you can't take your mind off your receptionist's body, get rid of her and hire an old lady."
Warning that this will probably get you sued for sex discrimination/harassment. Better not to hire them in the first place. Although in today's world that can get you sued too.
Besides that, I agree with you. Men can get themselves into trouble far too easily and quickly if they let their eyes or minds wander. The Bible says, first, not to let yourself get into that situation, and, two, "flee." (Literally, see Genesis 39--Joseph and Potiphar's wife; I Cor. 6:18)
As a guy, my personal feeling is that women are much more aggressive than they were 5 or 10 years ago. I find my wedding ring is still a good protection though. Many women still respect it, and if someone is still coming on too strong, usually a little subtle chin rubbing with your ring hand gets the message across without ever having to say anything.
Re: firing au pairs and receptionists merely because some old goat can't control himself, all I can say is that the men in my family love and are faithful to their wives, father large families, and have been taught the virtues of discipline and self control all their lives. Despite often having very attractive female employees (who are on good terms with their wives).
How grossly unfair to fire a woman simply because you, the man, can't keep lust in check. While I agree with the principle (for both men and women) of fleeing temptation, and never underestimating the danger of becoming entranced by someone gorgeous, attentive, etc, I would try not to make someone else suffer because of my own problem. So if a guy has the hots for sexy 19 year olds, he shouldn't hire one as an au pair in the first place. But firing one after she has come all the way to your country to work for you?
As to the sexy receptionist? Middle aged men's ardor might cool if they realized that she isn't after your bod, but just wants to use sex to get ahead on the job. You may not mind being used, and may have no intention of helping her career, just remember that any connection is an essentially commercial one. Also, sleeping w secretaries can often lead to harassment suits when things go sour, so rather risky. That usually helps one behave in a more sane manner.
let's reverse that:
if a woman can't comprehend/deal with getting appreciative looks from men, she shouldn't dress "sexy" and shouldn't take jobs in places where she's likely to be among men.
But saying that will get you branded a sexist neanderthal...
If you can't keep your hands off the au paire, you have more serious trouble in your relation with your wife than a nice looking girl in your house (unless of course your relation is such that extra-marital affairs are agreed upon to be ok, something that's rare but not unheard of).