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Boy Scouts for Boys

February 20, 2013

          To discriminate means to distinguish between. Sometimes it is unjust to discriminate and sometimes, because the things in question are different, it is not only prudent, but just to distinguish between them. Men and women are different, and while we should oppose unjust discrimination, there are times when we can recognize those differences and accommodate them in our laws and practices.

          Single sex groups, like the Boy Scouts, are different from mixed sex groups. In a mixed sex group there is unavoidable sexual tension: boys showing off for girls, crushes, flirting, relationships, jealousy. During adolescence when male hormones are raging, all this can be a distraction. In a single sex group, boys are free from this distraction, free to develop peer relationships and confidence in their manhood. For this reason, membership in the Boy Scouts has been restricted to boys and in the century since its founding Boy Scout troops have provided a haven for boys to hone their skills and develop friendships.

          Today this is under attack. Although there are similar groups available for girls, girls have claimed the right to join the boy scouts. Now boys who self-identify as gay and girls, who claim to be transgender and present themselves as boys, want to be accepted into Boy Scout troops.

          Boys who self identify as gay and want to be accepted as openly gay are different from other boys and it is prudent and just to tell them that the Boy Scouts is not the place for them. Boy who self-identify as gay are publically proclaiming that they are sexually attracted to males. The chance that they will be sexually attracted to a member of the troop or the leader, is extremely high. This changes the group dynamic. It makes the other boys, particularly the boy who is the object of such attraction, uncomfortable. Some boys, who have been the target of such unwanted attention, have felt humiliated because they feared that others might think that they were also gay.

While advocates for the acceptance of self-identified gay boys into troop say that there is no reason to be concerned since the gay boys will control themselves, given the highly charged nature and promiscuity within the gay subculture, this is highly unlikely. The gay culture is in every way antithetical to the Boy Scout culture. Gay men glory in their promiscuity, having many more sexual partners than heterosexual men and as a result being exposed to scores of sexually transmitted diseases. Currently, a syndemic of sexually transmitted diseases, psychological disorders, and substance abuse problems is raging among young men who have sex with men.

What is even more problematic is the demand that the transgender – that is girls who insist they are boys and want to appear and be acknowledged as boys — be admitted to boy scout troops. It is not possible for a person to change their sex. These girls are still physically female even if they are taking hormones to change their bodies. No one should be forced to go along with their fantasy and pretend they are boys.

Finally, all the major religions have traditionally considered sex between persons of the same-sex as contrary to God’s plan. Those who pledge obedience to God’s law should not be forced to pretend that law is wrong in this regard.

While we can sympathize with the feelings of gay boys and the transgendered, Boy Scouts is not the place for them.



4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2013 5:02 pm

    I defer to your greater wisdom & experience.

    However, I would hope there would be a dedicated scouting-type outreach for SSA conflicted boys.

    In a previous age when the latency period was still recognized and children weren’t under such a constant sex barrage from popular media and in the schools, SSA boys would have found healing refuge in scouting.

    What a perfect place for them…in a society that wasn’t end-stage.

  2. February 21, 2013 8:11 pm

    Actually I sort of agree. If a boy has some SSA and doesn’t want it, a positive relationship with a mentor and other boys can be healing. I am convinced that many young boys who experience some SSA come out of it naturally through positive non-sexual experiences. A number of men have shared this with me privately. The problem is the culture that tries to push these boys into “coming out” at an early age. “Out” boys and “out” leaders have no place in scouts.

    • Scott permalink
      June 9, 2013 3:34 pm

      Dale – The BSA resolution seems to have been crafted specifically with this idea in mind, in fact I would say almost coached to make it more palatable for faith based organizations such as the Catholic Church. The problem is the resolution does not take into consideration the obvious truths you point out. The National Catholic Conference on Scouting immediately came out and said the resolution is in line with Catholic teaching and requires more study.

      If you isolate the resolution from practical matters, one can say taking the first position above, it certainly is within the scope of Catholic teaching, but would it be off base to say putting a 15 year old boy who self identifies as being “openly gay” in a tent with another boy is putting that boy in the “near occasion of sin” – and should not be allowed just as the Church would never condone putting a 15 year old boy in a tent with a 15 year old girl?

      I believe the NCCS and many Catholic parishes are to deeply invested with the BSA to make a pragmatic judgement on the BSA resolution. I know I’m not alone as many members of my parish troop feel it is not possible to continue with the BSA, would you write a blog with your opinion and reason for or against the Catholic Church maintaining it’s relationship with the BSA.

      Thank you,

      • June 11, 2013 2:27 pm

        I am off to Trinidad to speak and will try to write something on this when I return. In the meantime, NARTH has a fully documented response “Research Pertinent to the Boy scouts of America Policy Change Debate” which I strongly recommend. I would say that the bishops need to listen to their friends, therapists such as Joseph Nicolosi, Richard Fitzgibbons and Gerad Van den Aardweg, and organizations, such as NARTH and Catholic Medical Association, and not those who are outspoken enemies of everything the Church teaches.

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