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  • any sexual conduct by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting

    Part of today's announcement included the following: "...any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting." I'm in Cub Scouting, and I'm reasonably confident that none of my scouts are sexually active, but I'm not at all sure that is true of Boy Scout troops, and I think its highly unlikely to be true in Venturing teams, since some of the scouts are 20 years old. What are your opinions on this? Do you have scouts in your troop or team who are sexually active? Do you care? Are they failing to live up to the virtues of scouting? Are they denied advancement?

  • #2
    I have found you pretty much hear crickets when you try and address the issue of heterosexual male sexual behavior. I suspect it may be that many us were in violation of the virtues of Scouting at one point. (or at least would have if had the opportunity) Is there one of us that would deny advancement or eject a Scout if he fathered a child ? Maybe a few but not many.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's not that I don't care, I just don't think it's my business or my job. Seems like that's what parents are for.

      How would you suggest going about enforcing this?

      Comment


      • Sentinel947
        Sentinel947 commented
        Editing a comment
        As I replied below, I don't think this is an enforcing sort of action statement. I'm going to proceed the same way I always have, which is to not really address the topic of sex. If a Scout is telling all the other Scouts about it, I'll tell him to cut it out. That's about as far as I feel "obligated" to go.



        Sentinel947

    • #4
      I know of two youth in my crew who darn well better be sexually active. They've been married for a year! Otherwise, I make it clear that virginity is to be held in high esteem. But, I do believe that there's room for grace. More importantly, I ask youth to understand what their religion says about the matter, and live accordingly.

      Comment


      • #5
        Reading that and only dealing with cubs, I was wondering the same. I had no idea there were some still in scouting past 18 (I need to do some more looking into Venturing.) I like qwazse's response, I couldn't see myself viewing it any other way if I was in that position currently.

        Comment


        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          Venturers can start at age 14 (or whenever they complete 8th grade) and age out at 21. It's a shame that the program is still foreign to cub leaders and parents. I didn't know about it until son #1 (then a wolf scout) and I talked to a camp staff about her program. (I had mistakenly used the term Explorer.) The program was quite new then, but we seem to be in the same situation today.

        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Faith, when you look into venturing. Pay close attention to some important rules. Boy Scouts who earn First Class can continue earning MB and advancement up to Eagle. Girls do not earn MBs or BS advancement.

        • Faith
          Faith commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, explorer and venturer are foreign to me so I will definitely be looking into it for future reference (even if I'm eons away from my boys being in it, it never hurts to look.) Since we joined the scouting community I've been trying my best to learn the ins and outs of all the areas. Haven't made it much out of cubs yet, as there's plenty there alone! I've never heard anyone mention either at any meetings (the only term I remember hearing was sea scouts, something else I'm new to.) I've bought a ton of books on the subject of scouting + have about 50 sites bookmarked, slowly but surely

      • #6
        Maybe I'm reading too much into the policy statement... BUT.... I took it to mean that sexual conduct of ANY TYPE is not condoned in or around or on ANY scouting activity. A married couple in a tent on a campout (whether adult leaders or married ventures... wow married yung, but whatever) should be able to keep their private life private around scouts - PERIOD. I don't even show much affection other than a hug and a quick peck on the cheek for the Mrs. when I'm in uniform. Its not the place for it.

        So far in pre-marital sex (hetro or homo) among teenaged boys... I'm sure it happens given the chance. As long as its not happening at a scout meeting or campout - then really not my business. I guess I've never had to confront a lad who's knocked up his girlfriend right before his Eagle BoR... guess we'll cross that bridge if / when it occurs and IF the committee has knowledge of the issue. Not sure how I'd handle that issue, but I know one thing.... the lad not getting his Eagle award is the LEAST of his worries at that point in life !

        I do (hopefully) project to the youth that dating and relationships are serious things and that mutual RESPECT and RESPONSIBILITY is very important with regards to dealing with the opposite sex (guess that will include the same sex now as of Jan '14). I also talk with them to consider the ramifications of an unintended pregnancy on their and their partner's future has... college, very hard with a baby.... forget dances and prom and football.... you'll be changing diapers, etc...

        dean

        Comment


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Getting his Eagle at that point in his life could very well tip the scales between a positive outcome for his family and a negative one.

        • AZOwl
          AZOwl commented
          Editing a comment
          My thoughts are simple...If I can't have sex on a campout or an activity with the Mrs...Then they shouldn't be having sex with anyone either.

          We also just covered the Family Life MB in our weekly meetings. And while my unit is wildly diverse along religious lines, and I had to tiptoe through the parts about what it means to be a man, and a father, I definitely got the point across about sex being intended for reproduction, and that if they aren't ready to be a dad, then they should wait, because the only 100% foolproof method is not to do it.

          Having said that, do I really think that they will wait? Probably not, most don't...But if I can get them to postpone it even once, or remember to think with the head on their shoulders about it, then it was worth it.

      • #7
        I was faced with that, as the District Rep at a unit EBOR. Everyone was clueless until one of the letters of recommendation stated how nice it was that he was taking responsibility for his new son. he had just turned 18 and was "living in sin" with the baby momma in her parents' home. The troop committee was livid that they were blindsided, since apparently the SM knew all about it and didn't think it was worth mentioning. The vote was to deny the Eagle. He appealed to Council and they awarded the Eagle. This was about 10 years ago.

        Comment


        • #8
          While all Scouts (Cub Scouts also) are supposed to live by the Scout Oath, and Law, BSA can not control what it's youth does outside of Scouting activities.

          I believe this comment was primarily meant for Scouting activities (not what a married couple does at home), and includes all forms of "sexual conduct", including the kind of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" kind of stuff that even older Cub Scouts can get into.

          It is all about appropriate behavior.

          Comment


          • #9
            To me, this comment is rather obnoxious; for comparison, supposed the BSA excluded black kids, and just changed it to admit them, but added a memo reminding everyone that stealing is contrary to the virtues of scouting. Hey, no thanks for the implication....

            Comment


            • NJCubScouter
              NJCubScouter commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree Merlyn, but if the worst thing that came out of this process was an obnoxious and unnecessary statement, I would have said that on the whole, the result was positive. But it's NOT the worst thing, in my opinion. The worst thing is that the policy on openly gay adult leaders has remained what it was, and in my view that prevents this outcome from really being a positive one. It could be the "first step" toward a positive result, as Terry says in the other thread, and as my council said in their official statement on the subject (supporting the resolution on youth members but stating that work should continue on changing the policy for adults.)



              As for me personally, I'm not sure how many more "steps" I am in for, especially now that I am only making decisions for my self, with all of my children being adults. But we'll see.



              As for how inappropriate behavior among troop or crew members (youth and/or adult) should be handled, I don't think anything has changed. It has nothing to do with whether the individuals in question are gay or straight.

            • Sentinel947
              Sentinel947 commented
              Editing a comment
              As far as I know, Scouts shouldn't be having sex has always been a position of the BSA. Regardless of whether or not the decision is religious in nature, or just good ole common sense, young people can really destroy their lives or be forced to make hard decisions by engaging in sex before they are ready.



              With my unit, if I know about Scouts are engaging in that kind of conduct outside of Scouts, fine, they shouldn't be regaling all the other Scouts with the stories about their sexual activities.



              I don't think we need to look at that statement as being some sort of action statement that BSA volunteers need to become the Sex police. I think alot of people in here are taking that statement a little bit too seriously.



              Sorry Merlyn, my comment is aimed at the whole thread, I just started replying to you, and then I started to ramble. =P



              Sentinel947

          • #10
            That seems like a silly statement probably inserted to appease some highly conservative religious group. Of course sexual activity at scouting events is verboten. But if we overhear talk about some 16-17 yo scout making out with his girlfriend, our we expected to toss him? I think the BSA should stop being trying to be the sex police.

            Comment


            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, what exactly does sexual activity mean ? Kissing? That's nuts. Groping? Good luck stopping that.

              Kids exaggerate and brag. Anything short of photos is just not evidence. Taking photos of naked teenagers is illegal and someone needs to go to jail.

          • #11
            Originally posted by qwazse View Post
            More importantly, I ask youth to understand what their religion says about the matter, and live accordingly.
            That's probably all that matters. Good policy!

            Originally posted by DigitalScout View Post
            Of course sexual activity at scouting events is verboten. But if we overhear talk about some 16-17 yo scout making out with his girlfriend, our we expected to toss him? I think the BSA should stop being trying to be the sex police.
            I think if we have the policy that a 16-17 yr old Scout talking about making out with his girlfriend is un-Scoutlike and sets a bad example, the first two times is probably worth some Scoutmaster counseling on why it's un-Scoutlike to be talking about that kind of thing at a Scout meeting or campout. If it continues, there should be no question that he's behaving in a way that is distracting from the other boy's ability to enjoy Scouting as intended and must be removed.

            While we may feel it's innocuous, the fact of the matter is that National feels sexuality as a subject in Scouting is not innocuous.

            Comment


            • #12
              Come on people; let's just allow people to respond as needed in their own units, hopefully using common sense and not blowing things out of proportion. It appears to me that some individuals simply have to have "chicken little" responses. It is a step in the right direction. Soon enough the secondary issues will have to come to a head. If you care about the actual program, then just put your efforts into working it and please stop making everything into a political football.

              Comment


              • #13
                Originally posted by DeanRx View Post
                So far in pre-marital sex (hetro or homo) among teenaged boys... I'm sure it happens given the chance. As long as its not happening at a scout meeting or campout - then really not my business.
                Curious position from my perspective. If a scout was caught cheating on tests in high school would you consider that none of your business or is it a reflection on his trustworthiness? What if he was hazing other youth on a HS sports team? Not in scouting so no worry about friendly, courteous, kind. Smoking cigarettes and yelling obscenities at a village holiday gathering with young children around? No biggie, it's not a camp out, clean mind and strong body only count in the woods. Character is what happens when nobody is looking. Isn't that what we're trying to teach?

                Comment


                • dcsimmons
                  dcsimmons commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Uh, Khaliela, I said cheating on tests in references to their trustworthiness, nothing about sex. The point of my post was to suggest that it's a mistake for scout leaders to say if something doesn't happen in a scout event it's not our concern. Our job as scout leaders is to "prepare young people to make moral and ethical decisions throughout their lifetimes." That goes beyond scout meetings and activities. Just my $0.02.

                • DeanRx
                  DeanRx commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yeah DC, I don't think our line of thought is too far apart on this issue. We are teaching character, I just don't see my role as the "character" police outside of a scouiting event. If an infraction happens at school or in the village square and I am present to witness it, then yes... I'll call my scouts out on it. However, I'm not going to hold up rank advancement or kick a kid out of a unit on hersay about something he may or may not have done outside of a scouting activity. The only exception I can think of to this would be if he is convicted of a crime. If he is cheating on a test or bullying a kid on a HS sports team... that's the school's job to police, IMHO.

                  I've always viewed my job as a techer. Teach them to make a good choice and then allow them to exercise that choice. I will correct if I am aware of an issue. I highly doubt I'll ever have first hand knowledge of a scout's sex life, unless its acting out on a campout. The only other time I can think of is if he knocks a girl up or something like that... then there is "evidence" so to speak. As I stated before, Hope I never have to face that senerio, but we'll cross the bridge if / when the time comes.

                • dcsimmons
                  dcsimmons commented
                  Editing a comment
                  @Dean, you and me both brother...

              • #14
                A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

                Nowhere in there am I seeing the word abstinent . . .

                Comment


                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If you're tryin' to tell me I can't trust Christians as far as I can throw 'em, I'm with you on that one! For that and other reasons, I intentionally steered my kids away from pledge campaigns. Abstinence vows in the context of evangelical Christianity is an abstract ideal at best, a diabolical hypocrisy at worst.

                  Keep in mind that the birth rate disparity by state may be partially offset by abortion rates. But the availability and reliability of the latter is questionable. So we may be talking about a values choice.

                  Also note that your CDC reference indicates that the most stable marriages are the ones where first birth was 8+ months after marriage. Now, it may be that those are all folks who use condoms until the license is signed, but logic dictates that this group is comprised of all of those who did not initiate sexual activity until after marriage.

                  Abstinence (irregardless of religion) remains the "cleanest" strategy. It is also seems to be the hardest to implement -- especially among protestants. So sure, the "discipline of latex" is a necessary fallback, and it is possible to build "safety nets" (e.g. HPC vaccine) that take up some slack. Maybe it is easier to promote that.

                  However; ease of use, in itself, is not what defines the morality of a particular choice.

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Gee Khaliela

                  That higher birthrate wouldn't have anything to do with the fact the nations poor don't have access to birth control the same as the wealthy.....

                  Poor kids are more often left at home alone between end of school and the time parents get home from work...

                  I think the rates for teenage intercourse are the same for rich and poor......the difference is one can afford or is educated to take precautions the other is not.....

                  Local wealthy school made the news with many student getting ejected from the prom for having sex on the dance floor.......The only rules the dance was the girls hands could not be on the floor and had to be above her knees when dancing........I can't imagine what was going on to make that a required rule.

                • Scouter99
                  Scouter99 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Originally posted by Khaliela View Post
                  Not so fast qwazes;
                  Teen birth rates are higher in red states and for Christians in general. Christian teens are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, less likely to use contraception when they do have sex, and Christians are more likely to divorce. I've heard a lot of pastors tout the opposite, but when you look at the data from the Centers for Disease Control and the census bureau it's a whole different story.
                  Teen birth rate by state:
                  http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/n...ens-15-19.aspx

                  The gap between pledgers and nonpledgers for high-risk behavior was statistically significant, with 2% of virgins who did not pledge reporting engaging in anal or oral sex, compared with 13% of those who did pledge. According to Bruckner, the pledgers' increased likelihood of substituting oral or anal sex for vaginal intercourse puts them at risk of contracting STDs, according to Bruckner. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/21606.php
                  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr049.pdf
                  Not so fast, yourself.
                  First of all, "red state/blue state" is a blunt instrument that really serves no use in making broad generalizations across time or demographics. Many states with republican governors vote for democrat presidents and vice versa. Many states alternate republican and democratic administrations with almost every cycle. "Christian" is also almost useless for categorizing people. Christianity, unlike Judaism or Islam, is not inherited. Christianity is, in essence, a mystery cult into which people are initiated then advance. Now, how many people do you know who simply tell you they're a Christian because that's what their parents were, or because when they can be bothered they go to a Christian church? I once knew a kid who said he was a Christian because he's white, and as silly as it was to hear it out loud, that's exactly how people think about religion. The fact of the matter is that, statistically, 75% of the teens in the country are categorized as "Christians" whether they're in a red or blue state, and whether they birthed their child or aborted it, and whether they abstained, had vaginal sex, or had oral sex.
                  Religiosity--engagement in the religion--tells us what we want to know about the relationship between religion and behavior.

                  However, accepting your blunt red/blue instrument, and using the 2012 Presidential election to categorize a state as red or blue, let's look at the matter:
                  While it is true that red states have the highest teen birth rates, the decline in births between 1991 and 2010 is a 50/50 split between red and blue states in the top 10. In the top 20, there are more red than blue (12 to 8).
                  Just as telling as any of this, however, are abortion stats, where blue states reign supreme, dominating the top 20 18-to-2. These stats are available from the Guttmacher Institute: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/USTPtrends.pdf
                  Despite its "lbue-ness" Washington, D.C. not only had the highest birth rate in the nation in 1991 (110 per 1000), it also had the highest abortion rate in the nation with 81/1000. In fact, the Red teens of DC aborted more 1.5 times more babies than the blue teens birthed in Mississippi (the state with the highest 2010 birth rate). I don't exactly consider dumping the human product of bad sexual decisions into bio-hazard bins to be incinerated like trash to be a better solution than birth.

                  What tells us anything about all of this is not birth rates or abortion rates--those only tell us how the teens dealt with their bad choice. I dare say I'm damned proud that "red" teens are birthing the babies rather than killing them.
                  What you want are pregnancy rates, which are in the Guttmacher numbers I linked.
                  Last edited by Scouter99; 06-04-2013, 08:51 PM.

              • #15
                I think the movement could perform best if we treat the Scout Law as aspirational - that we strive to live a person that is trustworthy......etc. This thread alarms me because I see that the Scout law is being used to punish, ban or remove those among us who have failed in this aspiration. Refusing to award an Eagle rank simply because a boy has fathered a child is punitive behavior, which is contrary to the goals of the movement. If you removed all the boys who took a smoke of a cigarette, a drink of alcohol or a kissed another person from the program, the crickets would be the only sound we'd hear at Scout Meetings. Boys need to hear the message of Scouting (become someone who is trustworthy, etc.) over and over in their lives so they can remember this message when in a darker moment they confront challenges in their daily lives. I teach the values of Scouting to boys so that they can overcome their base animalistic impulses, their periods of doubt and indecision, their weaknesses of every sort that defines us ALL as human.

                Comment


                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Who among you can stand up and declare they have always lived the scout law and oath without fail ?

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The Parents need a SMC.

                  What responsible parent would let their teenage son who is a new father continue in scouting??

                  To my mind, fathering or mothering a child immediately makes you an adult......No passing go, no more partys no more sports, no more hanging out on friday night.
                  No more scouting.....


                  So earning an Eagle isn't a possibility.
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