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5-Year-Old Daughter Scared of Men

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My daughter has showed a fear of men since she was 2 years old. it has over time seem to get worse. I have never left her around men other then her dad and my dad so I know that she has never been abused. I have also asked her if a man has ever hurt her and she always says know. she will only interact with 4 men they are her dad, both her grandpas, and 1 family friend. she will not talk to other men that she has been around her whole life and sees on a regular bases. when her dads friends come over she will run up to her room and stay there till they leave. If any of them try to walk near her she freaks out and start screaming and crying like she is in total fear. she will not even talk to her pediatrician because he is a male. although she had no problem going trick or treating. I’m just really confused as to if this is a psychological issue that I need to be concerned with or if its just a stage she will out grow.

5-Year-Old Daughter Scared of Men

Answered by on -


It is hard to know what the cause might be, but I think it is important to find a way to help her cope with it. Probably the best person to work with your daughter is a play therapist. You can use the find help tab at the top of the page to look for someone in your area with that specialty. This needs to be a person who is trained in play therapy or the therapist specializing in children.

It may be a natural reaction to a man’s lower voice, or something more complex, but in either case therapists with these specialties should help.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

5-Year-Old Daughter Scared of Men

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). 5-Year-Old Daughter Scared of Men. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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