The Hell With the Boys: Coed Scouting? 5 Research-Based Reasons Girls And Boys Should Scout Together

Kim Elsesser is the poster girl for screwing boys. In her Second Wave feminist mind, makes exist to serve females. Period.

No one gives a damn about the boys, the men of America’s future. NO ONE. NOT ELSESSER, NOT BSA INC, NOT A DAMNED ONE SHOVING THEM DOWN OUR THROATS.

#MeToo is a cruel joke with the Boy Scouts as its butt.

Coed Scouting? 5 Research-Based Reasons Girls And Boys Should Scout Together

Phot: Research evidence suggests that scouting with the opposite sex would be beneficial. (Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday it would be admitting girls into its Cub Scout program, but not everyone thinks coed scouting is a good idea.  The Girl Scouts still seem to think single-sex scouting is preferable, releasing this statement Wednesday night: “The benefit of the single-gender environment has been well-documented by educators, scholars, other girl- and youth-serving organizations.”   But, the research does not seem to support this notion that single-sex environments benefit children, and instead suggests that there is more stereotyping when children socialize with only their own sex.  Below are five research results that may surprise you:

1. Girls with older brothers play more sports.  Research indicates that girls with older brothers are more likely to play sports and more likely to play with building toys (that develop mechanical-spatial skills) than girls with older sisters. In fact, the researchers found that, in general, girls with older brothers showed more masculine behaviors than those without.  And boys with older sisters were more feminine but not less masculine than those without older sisters.

2. Aggressiveness in boys and girls is moderated with cross-sex friendships.  One study of preschoolers showed that boys who played mostly with other boys became more aggressive than those who played with both boy and girl friends.  Another study of adolescents found that having more cross-sex interactions both in school and outside of school decreased aggression in both girls and boys.

3. Eating disorders may decrease in girls. Research suggests that adolescent girls who attend single-sex schools suffer from more body image concerns and eating disorders than those attending co-educational schools.

4. Girls entrance into STEM and science is unaffected. Girls and women are underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, and some argue that at an allowing women their own space to pursue these fields will encourage more women to enter STEM fields.   However, research does not support this theory.  The evidence indicates that girls attending single-sex high schools and colleges are not any likelier to pursue STEM careers (or to remain in STEM careers) than those attending coed schools.  In fact, not only did single-sex classes not have an impact in science interest, but there was also no significant effect found for  female teachers, female scientist guest speakers, and discussing the work of female scientists. Therefore, although girl scouts offer STEM opportunities for girls, there is no evidence that these opportunities are better or worse than coed opportunities.

5. Less stereotypical behaviors emerge with cross-sex interaction. Neuroscientists generally agree that brain differences between men and women are relatively small. So, where do stereotypical gender differences come from?  Some researchers suggests that it stems from time spent with same-sex peers.  One fascinating study of children (well before puberty hits) shows that the more time boys spend with same-sex peers, the more they lower their vocal pitch.  Girls tend to raise their vocal pitch the more time they are in the exclusive company of other girls.  In other words, children tend to move away from center toward the stereotype of girls or boys when they play in same-sex groups.

And the differences go far beyond vocal pitch.  Lise Eliot, Professor of Neuroscience at Rosalind Franklin University, and author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain wrote in the New York Times, “the truth is that sex differences in math ability, spatial skills, assertiveness and competitiveness are much more a product of gender socialization and segregation. In other words, it is precisely because girls and boys spend so much time apart, practicing different skills and relational styles, that they walk into college classrooms with different types of academic confidence and career ambition.”

The Girl Scouts is a great organization that has helped many girls achieve their goals, but the benefits of the organization does not stem from its single-sex enrollment.  Sex-segregating schools or after-school activities like scouting sends the message that girls and boys are somehow fundamentally different – and they’re not.  It perpetuates stereotypes and encourages different behavior from girls and boys.  Actually,  I believe that lack of cross-sex interaction is ultimately why women aren’t reaching the top levels of our organizations and only make 80 cents for every dollar made by men.

I applaud the BSA for admitting girls (although let’s hope they change their name soon), and research suggests that the girl scouts could benefit from following suit.

Kim Elsesser is the author of Sex and the Office: Women, Men and the Sex Partition that’s Dividing the Workplace.

, I cover the intersection of business, psychology and gender. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Author: Renegade Scouter

Boy Scouting is for boys -- Help us save BSA from itself.

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