When I was younger, I was involved in Boy Scouts. Like many former scouts, my experiences were mixed, and as I've come to be able to analyse social shaping (and have come to be very solidly liberal, leaving the libertarianism of my youth and the wealthy suburban inculturation), I've become much more bothered by scouting. My family was involved in scouting to a fairly large degree (although it was never recognised as such); my grandfather on my dad's side was a scout, as was my father and at least one of my uncles. My sisters also did scouting, and my mom helped with a girl scout camp several summers; I went along to that (I wasn't the only boy there). My overall impression, at least based on my experiences, is that girl scout culture is much more healthy than boy scout culture. The hierarchies are less steep, there's less elitism, far less patriotism, the time is somewhat less structured, and there's less of a nudge towards conservative values. I can't back this up at this point in my life though; the memories are too old.
What I can do is suggest an examination of creeds and history. Not just the particular matter of treatment of homosexuals (although even there, Boy Scouts stand in contrast to Girl Scouts in policy; BSA claims homosexuality to be immoral, while GSA neither bans nor has a strong stance on the matter). Let's examine the "Scout Law" of each organisation:( Collapse )