A new book asks: why are babysitters portrayed as slutty, evil bad girls? Well, probably a few reasons:
Miriam Forman-Brunell's Babysitter: An American History, takes on the trope of the teen sitter. As opposed to the more obviously fraught dynamic of nanny and mom (as examined in Tasha Blaine's Just Like Family and by the estimable Dodai), a babysitter's role is more marginal. Usually a social equal, generally a teen girl, the bebysitter is a transient figure, less a servant than the object of fantasy, idolization, and, in the world of John Cheever, sexual intrigue.