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Why “Boy” Scouts?

I was reading an essay in Public Discourse about the Boy Scouts that got me thinking. Why are there separate scouting organizations for boys and girls?

I understand that most scouting organizations developed separately, and I understand why we used to have different organizations for boys and girls. I know that we used to think boys and girls were different.

Heck, I’m so old I remember we used to think sexual…

  1. Spin

    Anything I say here will get me labelled a mysoginistic Chirstianic terrorist.  

  2. Flapjack

    Somehow, I can’t hear a young boy or or girls saying, “Dad/Mom, I want to join the It Scouts!”

  3. Skyler

    You’re just goading us, right?

  4. Bryan G. Stephens

    Are you being serious here?

    Boys and Girls are Different. Boys behave differently when not around girls. Men when not around women.

    Boy Scouts gives young and adolescent boys a chance to develop away from girls. Most cultures in history have seen this as a good thing. If I ran education, I’d put them in different groups from 4th-9th grade and only bring them back in 10th.

    The Left, aided by libertarians, is out to destroy the accumulated wisdom of the ages when it comes to sex.

    They are doing a wonderful job.

  5. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    I’m most interested in hearing what folks who support redefining marriage toward a sexual orientation basis instead of sexual complementarity basis, but I am curious what all of us think.

    Does “being a man” mean anything at all any more? And, if so, what? A boy?

    Does “being a woman” mean anything at all any more? And, if so what? A girl? What does that mean?

    I’m assuming that people who support genderless marriage also apply this belief in other aspects of life. Perhaps there is, though, a reason to think sexual difference is important for Scouting but not for big institutions such as marriage. And I’d love to hear what that reason is.

  6. Barkha Herman

    Mollie – I grew up in India, where they did not have “girl Scouts” – they had “Girl Guides”.

    Robert Baden Powell created the Boy Scout movement, and Agnes Baden Powell created the Girl Guides.  (yes we learned that in the Girl Guides).

    And we did not sell cookies.

  7. Barkha Herman

    BTW on the whole marriage bit, Government vs. Private Organization, Mollie. 

  8. Benjamin Glaser
    Bryan G. Stephens: 

    The Left, aided by libertarians, is out to destroy the accumulated wisdom of the ages when it comes to sex.

    They are doing a wonderful job. · 13 minutes ago

    Well said.

  9. Karen

    I think that’s one part of the slow mission creep tactic to destroy scouting, and any other institution that dares to take a stand for personal responsibility and morals. They’ll agree to let gay scouts in, then gay leaders, and members will leave and no one will be left. No man is suing the DAR for excluding men, yet. Should we not have any private organizations and just sacrifice our children to the collective, the almighty state, as MSNBC anchors want?

  10. Western Chauvinist

    I’ve been told sex doesn’t mean anything in particular with regard to marriage. Er, somethin’. 

  11. Adriana Harris

    I remember reading a story recently about  the girl scouts admitting a boy who “identified” as a girl. The scout leader initially barred the boy from joining her troop, but was reprimanded by higher ups in the organization. Of course it was the parents of the boy who complained about the girl scouts lack of inclusion. God forbid the girl scouts should be for girls.

  12. Karen

    Mollie, as to comment 5, I don’t think gay marriage supporters think that far ahead. I have a friend with one of those equal signs for gay marriage as her FB profile pic, yet she dresses her little girls in pink and purple. They wear tutus and tiaras all the time. To her, gender doesn’t matter in marriage, but it for sure matters in how she raises her kids. Funny how that works.

  13. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Barkha Herman: BTW on the whole marriage bit, Government vs. Private Organization, Mollie.  · 11 minutes ago

    Sure — but why would anyone who supports genderless marriage participate in scouting separated by sex? Is there any reason to have it other than “people make weird decisions when allowed to privately”?

    And is there any time to recognize gender distinctions at all? If so, when and where? And why?

  14. Merina Smith

    I read the piece on Public Discourse.  It’s well written and  moving.  What a terrible world this is for boys right now.  The message being sent to them in a hundred subtle and not-so-subtle ways is that what you are is not OK. You should be more like girls, just as girls are being encouraged to take on traits that once characterized boys, especially along the lines of cutthroat competition.  The author asks an important question–how can boys become honorable men in such a world, especially if Scouting will no longer help them accomplish this?  Who can parents trust to assist them in this important task?  

    It is interesting to compare the paths of boy and girl scouts.  Boy Scouts has remained very conservative (we’ll see if this lasts) in part because Mormons have made it their youth program for boys.  Girl Scouts, on the other hand, is radically leftist from what I hear–which makes me reluctant to buy the cookies–though I often succumb to the cute little girls’ en”treaties”.  The local chapters run by parents are fine, I’m sure, but I’ve heard bad things about the national organization.   

  15. Howellis

    Your question put me in mind of the tendency of certain feminists to want to tear down any remaining exclusively male bastions but at the same time to fight to retain those that are exclusively female, such as female sports teams or female colleges.  

    This latter tendency indicates that at least at some level even the most ardent supporters of same-sex marriage agree that men and women are inherently different, and some of them will have a better chance to flourish in sex-segregated institutions.

  16. Molly, I know this article isn’t about scouting.  It’s just designed to bait another SSM debate.  But have you ever volunteered at a scout camp?  Have you done it with both boys and girls?  Because if you have, the answer to the question you actually asked (as opposed to the one you wanted to stir up) is “unquestionably yes.”  You can take a boys camp and a girls camp with exactly the same facilities, activities on offer, and schedule of events, and they will be entirely different camps.  I volunteer at one such – which offers separate boys weeks and girls weeks — so I’ve seen that experiment run live 30 years running.  It’s as true today as it was 30 years ago.

  17. Crow

    Only tangentially related to the question, I was reading the Corner this morning and happened upon this fascinating piece of information about our friend Melissa Harris-Perry–you remember, her of MSNBC your kids don’t belong to you, lean forward fame…..

    …Well, it turns out that her daughter attends private school. And guess what: its a religious, expensive, all-girls only school!

  18. Karen: I think that’s one part of the slow mission creep tactic to destroy scouting, and any other institution that dares to take a stand for personal responsibility and morals. They’ll agree to let gay scouts in, then gay leaders, and members will leave and no one will be left. No man is suing the DAR for excluding men, yet. Should we not have any private organizations and just sacrifice our children to the collective, the almighty state, as MSNBC anchors want? · 18 minutes ago

    We let gays in.  We welcome gays along with all the other kids and volunteers who make our program happen.  So far, the sky hasn’t fallen.

  19. EJHill

    GSA.jpgIn the Genderless Scouts you could earn badges for proper condom useage, creative rope tying, Lesbian Sisterhood and more! And if any of the girls get pregnant, it’s ok! They can earn their Secret Abortion Pin, or if they choose, get the whole set of badges in the Government Assistance Adventure Series!

  20. rosegarden sj dad

    When I was growing up and went to a nice episcopalean church, they let in men and women on an equal basis. Did that mean my church thought there were no differences between genders? I guess I missed that.

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