Boys and girls should have the same opportunities in life. In fact, I really don’t think there is a viable counter argument. Equality of opportunity between the sexes firmly belongs in the “no shit” category. I’m posting this because the Boy Scouts will soon be the Scouts; meaning boys and girls are both admitted. Before jumping to conclusions about my position here, please read on… 🙂
There are obvious benefits to boys and girls flying under the same Scouting banner, in that girls now get a chance to do all the cool stuff I got to do when I was a Boy Scout. Girls should absolutely be exposed to camping, fishing, tying knots, lighting the forest on fire, blowing up outhouses, and learning the vital skill of taking out swarms of mosquitoes with a cigarette lighter and a can of Off! The concept behind merit badges and attaining higher rank based on output is pretty cool too, I guess.
I’m speaking only from my personal experience and not trying to make broad claims here, but I think a lot of skills that I learned in scouting are better learned separately, unencumbered by the persistent distraction of trying to impress the opposite sex. Johnny has a chance to learn some useful skills like finding a campsite and starting a fire. Johnny will probably learn this stuff way more effectively if he’s not distracted; checking to see if Jenny noticed his pitched tent. Furthermore, Jenny should be able to learn how to bait a hook without Johnny leering over her shoulder. Most boys aren’t creeps. Johnny, though? Creep.
Here’s the deal… Johnny and Jenny get to see each other every day at school, go to the same parties, football games, dances, and ultimately, will have plenty of opportunity to work out the intricacies of male/female relations for the duration of their life. There is value in allowing boys and girls the option to develop along separate paths, knowing full well that those paths will eventually converge. So, in short, I’m all for equality of opportunity, and I’d up-vote an analogous, additional coed program. I simply think The Scouts meant well, but missed the mark for gender parity.
Inspiration for this blog came from The Joe Rogan Experience with guest Tim Kennedy.