Jump to content

Recommended Posts


I hate the idea that young boys need MALE role models. What is a man going to teach a scout, that a woman can't teach them? What is this male-trait that is so important for every young man to learn by observing and practicing with older men?


I just don't get it, and would love to see an example of a characteristic, skill, or trait that it is impossible for a woman to teach.


And don't get me wrong. I understand that sterotypically, there are some things that men are usually better at than women (and vice-versa). But these stereotypes are not 100% true.


A good scout leader, is a good scout leader, regardless of gender. I argue that a trained and motivated female leader is just as capable of being the needed "role model".

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 38
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

How about a man being involved with the care, feeding and upbringing of children? Almost exclusively most daycare and teachers are female. Women relate to men differently than men relate to men. Women do not share the same experiences in the same manner men share experiences.


There is a male culture just as their is a female culture. Men have a different way of interacting. As an example, when men have differences they tend to yell at each other and them move on. Once confronted, the grudge and the events leading up to the grudge are completely erased. Women tend to hold on to percieved grudges indefinitely. Women may expect males to feel and handle problems in a manner common to female culture. While women and men use the same words they mean different things.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that boys do need role models of both genders. BUT they really do need male role models to model off of. I cannot put it into words, or describe it accurately, but only tell you the results form my den. Several of the single moms in my den were elated that their sons had a positive male role model as DL. Both parents and Cubs were relieved and glad that I am moving up with them to Wolves next year. One of the kids was not happy when I told him thaty when they become Webelos they will get a new leader, middle son becomes TC, but I joked and said, "By that time you'll be glad to get rid of me!"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was at a symposium once that went into great depth about role modeling needs of children from both male and female models.


Of course I've forgotten most of it but one little part has always stuck with me and that is:


When little Johnnie or Suzy is climbing up a tree, the mom will generally say, "Be careful!" and the dad will generally say, "How high can you go?" Both dynamics are important but the mothering modeling dynamics are oriented to protect and preserve whereas the fathering modeling dynamic are oriented to expansion, adventure and risk.


One can always say males and females are equal, but in fact until the dynamics of society changes it's always going to be basically the same as it always has been.


Sure, one can point out anomalies, but generally speaking, the group preservation dynamics/risk taking dynamics will hold true. The female protects the young and the male is expected to venture and risk to provide for the young. No matter how far we have progressed as a civilization, the vestiges of such dynamics still are around.


An over protective society would eventually fall apart due to deprivation, but a overly risky society would fall apart as well due to miscalculated risk. Only a balance of the two can one preserve the species.


Your mileage may vary....



Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a single mom, with a son in Scouts. He's surrounded by many talented men and women, but I think naturally, I find him gravitating towards men who care for their boys, put forth effort to act like a 13 year old yet still command respect. Without a dad in the picture, this sure is a blessing to see.


Yes, we as women can be role models, even inspire the men in what to look for in a lifemate and how to respect women, but the ideal of a "model" is that the boys see what they like in other men and take those qualities with them throughout life.


After my Ordeal this past weekend, one of the youth leaders that guided me through the process came up to me and gave me a hug -- in front of every other boy helper. He thanked me for smiling and showing him grownups could smile and laugh despite going through an Ordeal. I was honored the boy saw something in me, but honored, too, that other men are inspiring his membership in the Order.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't help feeling that I'm walking on egg shells!

I do not in any way consider myself to be Sexist, chauvinistic or hold any prejudices toward females.

I do however think that young men and boys need male role models.

As my son was growing up I watched as the posters on his bedroom wall changed. When he was little the walls were covered with posters from Disney movies. (He really liked 101 Dalmatians)

As he grew up the posters changed and the walls were covered with posters of male athletes, mainly soccer and basketball players.

There are of course a lot of great female athletes but they never made it to his bedroom walls.

Much as he loves his mother, there were a couple of years when he was 15 and 16 when it seemed all that they (Him and his Mother) could do was disagree and argue. Mostly over things that were so trivial that it wasn't worth fighting about.

When he would come to me, I was kinda stuck in the middle, much I agreed with him that his Mother might have been out of line? I also felt the need not to allow him to disrespect his mother.

When it came time for "The Talk"! All the stuff about sex and responsibility this was very firmly placed on my plate. He said he was far more comfortable talking with me than his mother.

I'll admit that I wasn't that comfortable, but I just can't imagine HWMBO talking with him about masturbation.


We have at work talked a lot about the breakdown of the family especially in the homes of young African American males.

So many of the young men that we see in jail come from families where there was no male role model.

These young men have joined gangs because they need someone to look up too.

I'm sure that when it comes to skills there are many females who perform as good or even better than males, the same can be said about males who work in jobs that were traditionally done by females.

I also strongly believe that men can be as caring and nurturing as females. But even at my age there are times when I feel the need to just hang out with "The Boys".

Even after being married to HWMBO for going on 30 years, there are things that she does that I just don't understand! But, I have learned that it's OK for me not to understand.


A few weeks back on the PBS Nature program there was a documentary about Bald Eagles.

One male Eagle had lost his mate, so he went to get a new one. He was trying to impress her, showing her his skills in nest building. He made trip after trip to the nest, bringing a twig or some grass. Each time he very carefully placed the item that he'd brought and each and every time the female would move it to another place.

It seems that all female Eagles do this.

Even in nature we see that there are differences between males and females.

This doesn't in any way make one the better sex or the other the weaker sex, just different.

Today when I look at my son, I see that there are things that he got from both of his parents.I'd like to say that all the good stuff came from me! But that isn't the case.

He has been brought up to respect everyone, but also to use good manners, doing things like holding a door open for a woman or giving up his seat to a lady.

He has been exposed to some very strong females both physically and emotionally strong.

Even today when he is close to his 22 birthday there are times when he will choose which parent he feels will best deal with whatever it might be that he is trying to deal with.

Rather than trying to fight the differences between the sexes, we do better to embrace them and work together using the differences for our benefit.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many of you speak from a very intellectual POV, that is nice to see.


Nick: "Can a woman teach a boy to be a man? I would argue not. Just as I cannot teach a girl to be a woman. I believe people need both male and female role models"


Boy to Man. Girl to Woman. That will happen no matter how you are raised. Your gender is your gender. You were given specific "parts" at birth and that identifies your gender without question. I don't believe one needs any modeling to age and change from youth to adult.



Resqman: "There is a male culture just as their is a female culture. Men have a different way of interacting..."


I can't argue that this does not appear to be true. But I suggest it is not a mutually exclusive situation. If it is not true for all men, than it is not a trait than can only be taught by men. What you are talking about are personality traits that anyone can have, regardless of gender. It is social and learned, not decided by gender. Boys are taught they should act more like Dad and girls like Mom. But what if we didn't teach it this way?



Jblake: "generally speaking, the group preservation dynamics/risk taking dynamics will hold true. The female protects the young and the male is expected to venture and risk to provide for the young."


While may be true for most people, it is not a given. These are roles that our society passes down from generation to generation. Again...what if didn't? What if instead, we taught our children how to both protect and venture?



Eamon: Some great thoughts in your reply. But I don't read any of your samples and say "that is something a woman could not teach my son".



Kahuna: I have same response as above. Big Brother/Sisters does same gender match-ups because they don't try to do it any other way. (As far as I know at least) I suggest it would be very possible that a woman could partner with a Little Brother and be just as good an influence on him as a man can be. If it is the right woman.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately in our society today, "your gender is your gender" isn't as true as it used to be. Transexual issues are pervasive across the country and in every generation. It's common to see boys say "I'm a girl trapped in a boy's body" and vice versa. Gender identity is becoming a huge issue, and I think the more we polarize the gender lines, the more difficult it's going to be for kids.


Seeing Scouting leaders united for the same goals, both male and female, will continue to supply a positive balance for any youth in our program.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Eamonn - you tiptoed around those eggs and I don't think you cracked a single one..


I think I was the most active poster on the original thread.. But, I in no way was trying to state that boys do not need male role models.


Unless an all female Venture unit.. A boyscout unit with all or pedominately female Leaders would not be a good thing. IMHO.. But, a sprinkling of women on the team is great, and I think needed.


Part of the role model that men need to show boys is how to interact with the opposite sex. They can see more of that when two Adult leaders of opposite sex are interacting along side him on camporees. Much more so then an Male Adult leader who is actively engaged in working with him in the program, breaking away from the group to go and talk to the female committee member CC.. The two genders engaged in activities with him, will include him into their conversations.. The Leader/committee person will be having boring conversation he is rarely a part of.


Many Single female parents choose the boy scouts in order to give their sons a few good role models. If the father is still in the picture but is a poor role model, all the more important the boy grows up to know that all men do not act the same way.


I think you can have adventurous and cautious personalities in either gender. But, the adventurous tend to be more often in males. I believe this will slowly change the more the two genders defined roles get more and more blurred.. And I don't believe the blur is a bad thing.


Boyscouts need the adventurous adult leaders to make it exciting for the boys. But a few words of wisdom about not jumping off the cliff (be it made by a man or women) is a good thing too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Scouts is not about teaching boys to be men in the way that Man=Male gender of a certain age.


It is about teaching boys to be REAL MEN. Not real outdoorsy men, just Men.


This is about teaching maturity and responsibility. It is about teaching values embodied by the Oath and Law. "A Scout is..." should be the same as "A Man is..." The problem that scouts addresses it that too many Males reach physical and social maturity without reaching mental and spiritual maturity.


Can a woman teach a boy some of these values? Absolutely. Can she model these values? Yes. Can she model these values in a way that it completely reproducible by the boy? No.


The biggest example that flows outside of scouts is how a woman is to be treated. A female role model simply cannot show this. She can show how a woman treats a woman, or how a person treats another person, but not how a man treats a woman. No amount of feminism will make the fact there is to be a certain exchange between the sexes. How a man views a woman will never be the same as how a man views another man. If that bothers you, get over it, you can't change it.


There are all kinds of things that just relate better from someone of the same gender. If boys got enough good male example outside of scouts, it wouldn't really matter. However, that has almost never been the case (and probably never will be). So we need men in scouts to help share those values to the boys in only a way another man can.


Its really not about skills, but scouts never has really been about skills. Its about values and character all wrapped up in the fun of Scoutcraft.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooops.. Cracked one egg. (That I know of so far)


The female venture crew statement was not to imply that a sprinkling of male adult leaders would not be a good thing.. I have stated before men involved in female clubs would be good to get them to be more adventurous.. It is just that it would work.. Much better then a Boyscout troop with all female leaders.

Link to post
Share on other sites

jhankins said "Unfortunately in our society today, "your gender is your gender" isn't as true as it used to be. Transexual issues are pervasive across the country and in every generation. It's common to see boys say "I'm a girl trapped in a boy's body" and vice versa. Gender identity is becoming a huge issue, and I think the more we polarize the gender lines, the more difficult it's going to be for kids."


Transgender (transexual) issues have nothing at all do to with their environment or who their role models are. Like being gay, being transgender is something that happens in the womb (and yes, both are theories and those theories are heavily disputed by people who don't like the idea that a person can be born gay or transgender, as opposed to what science actually supports).


However, on the topic at hand, I'm wondering about all this wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth over the idea that there might be women leaders in a Boy Scout troop. Are y'all seeing a lot of Boy Scout troop with ALL female leadership, so that the boys have no male role models in scouting? Can't say I have. Most of the troops around here (LDS not withstanding) have at least one female ASM. Personally, I'd like adults associated with my children who will model how to be responsible, compassionate, independent *people*. And they can get that kind of role model from women as well as men. But we have no lack of male role models for the fact that we also have female leaders. And some of those women have better backcountry knowledge and skills than many male leaders I know.(This message has been edited by DanKroh)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...