Re: Girls in BSA
Steve Tobin (srtobin@MIRAGE.SKYPOINT.COM)
Tue, 31 Oct 1995 22:26:06 -0600
At 10:01 AM 10/31/95 -0700, George wrote:
>I was surprised! About 90% were opposed to girls in the BSA.
>This was true for both Cub and Scout leaders.
>I think that we may be a different breed of cat here on-line, and
>our views may not be representative of the majority of our
>leaders in the trenches.
I swore I would never get sucked into one of these endless debates again,
but here I go. I feel it is neccessary, for the record and for those that
have not been through this endless cycle before, to make it clear that there
are real and valid reasons for the the boys-only point of view.
I think if an honest poll of scouts-l were taken you would find just about
the same 90% results. I, personally, have quit bothering to respond (until
now) with my boys-only opinion, and the reasons for it, because I got tired
of the bigotry and abuse it drew, as has been recently demonstrated. It is
assumed that those with my viewpoint are old, reactionary, anti-female,
red-necked, cross-burning curmugeons. (Only a couple of those apply) It is
assumed that there is some inherent virtue in the very act of changing to
co-ed, regardless of the actual issues involved, that overides all other
For the record, I would just like to make a few points.
1. There is nothing wrong with girls and boys being together in a program.
They interact in school, church, the playground, and most everywhere else.
There is no reason to believe there would be any special problems with a
coed scouting program that don't exist elsewhere. A coed scouting program
would be fine with me, as long as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, as they
now exist, are not destroyed to do it.
2. The purpose of Boy Scouts is not to socialize the sexes. This is handled
more than adequately by the rest of society. If they were any _more_
3. The purpose of the Boy Scouts is not to compensate for any shortcomings
of the Girls Scouts, real or imagined.
4. There is no argument that girls can or can't "handle" the Boy Scouting
program, trips to Philmont, and such. That isn't the issue.
5. The Australians have the right to do as they see fit, and so do we. If
someone can't handle freedom of speech and thought, they will just have to
pull their feed. Or whatever.
6. The BSA has the constitutional right to provide a program for boys that
doesn't include girls. The Supreme Court has affirmed this repeatly and is
not an issue. You can like it or not, you can agree or not, but it is
7. The main reason I favor the boys-only program is because of the proven
fact that the emotional, social, intellectual and sexual developement of
boys and girls occur at very different rates and ages. Separate programs
accommodate these differences during the time when they are most pronounced
and in conflict. Boy scouting addresses, and is tailored to, a boy's needs,
Girl scouting addresses a girl's needs.
8. There is no good reason I have heard to go coed that justifies loosing
the benefit of the previous point. I would be glad to hear any _real_
benefits, to either boys or girls, that would. Please review items 2 and 3
before jumping me on this point.
8a. I do not need to _adjust_. I need a good, effective program for my son
and my neighbors' sons. If I believe a coed program is the best way to go, I
will adjust just fine, thank you. I will never adjust to something that is
detrimental to this purpose.
9. As an aside, I personally like the Canadian age groupings. They make much
more sense as they agree more closly with the emotional and social
developement of boys. I also like the idea of continuing the program into
the 20+ year old age bracket for many reasons. (A good topic for further
10. The development of the sexes pretty much coincides by the age of 15 or
16. I think a coed program after this age makes sense, and would in fact be
preferable. George's experiences with his Explorer post would bear this out.
It sure would be easier to keep the older boys interested!
There. I may live to regret breaking my vow, but so be it. If you feel the
irresistable urge for rebuttal (as I now do), or to set me straight, or to
correct me on any point, or just to flame my shorts, please to so by private
e-mail. In the spirit of fairness, I will collate and post a summary if needed.
Steve Tobin, SM | Troop 39 Cannon Falls, MN
email@example.com | Wakpaota District, Gamehaven Council
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