These days, if Rian Romoli accidentally bumps into a child, he quickly raises his hands above his shoulders. "I don't want to give even the slightest indication that any inadvertent touching occurred," says Mr. Romoli, an economist in La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.
Ted Wallis, a doctor in Austin, Texas, recently came upon a lost child in tears in a mall. His first instinct was to help, but he feared people might consider him a predator. He walked away. "Being male," he explains, "I am guilty until proven innocent."
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about the lengths men go to avoid false accusations of child abuse.
The media attention on child predators over the last few years has created the specter of a molester on every corner. The overwhelming "caution" that people adopt in response can be frightening.