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tyke

Trans Scouting (Use other thread for new policy)

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Wouldn't it be easiest if BSA said that what is on your birh certificate controls?  Then it is up to each state to determine what is necessary to have a birth certificate changed.  Then BSA could easily say, we go by state law and if you want a change in how that law is applied, go to your state legislature.

 

So that means if you have a person who is listed as a male on the birth certificate but who identifies as a female, they can be in Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts.  If you have a person who is listed as a female on the birth certificate but identfies as a male, they can not.  If someone is born female but has their birth certificate changed to male by meeting their states requriements, they are welcomed.

 

This isn't the BSA's issue, it is society's issue.  Let society resolve it and let the BSA avoid the distractions by being another test case.  I'm just tired of all the controversy and just want Scouting to be about camping, cooking and leadership.  Nonetheless, if BSA follows the birth certificate rule, I think they will easily prevail in court.

 

With all the other issues, the answer really is somewhere in between the extremes.  There are those people who truly feel that they were born the wrong gender.  I would think that is the less than one percent of the population figure quoted earlier in the thread.  There are those that having a different gender identity is a response to the adolescent process of determing who you will be in that there now seems to be one more "decision" that you can make (e.g. I view adolescence as making a series of choices along a continuum -- tough guy or commpasionate, athletic or sloth like, honorable or do what i can get away with, self-interested or caring, etc.).  I suspect that some of those identities may change over time.  The problem if figuring out the difference especially if you add the additional layers of publicity the issue has been getting, the potential of parental influence at the younger ages and the potential "trendy" factor in being "trans."

 

With that in mind, I see a difference between rules and behaviors.  A rule, like the birth-certificate rule I mention above, provides clear guidance and consistent treatment.  Any other test is arbitrary - if the youth identifies, if one parent agrees with identification, if both parents agree with identification, if both parents and a physician or psychologist agree, if both parents, a physician, a psychologist and the Cub Master agree, etc.  Without a rule, it becomes subjective.  Behaviors is how we act toward youth that identify with a different gender than the one on their birth certificate.  My sense is that we give them the space they need to figure things out for themselves - one way or another.  We don't judge, we just listen and support them in figuring out who they are and who they will be.

 

nstead of challenging women to accept a female who prefers to express masculinity, and maybe "up their game" by encouraging girls to do a few "boy activities" for the youth's sake (and ultimately, the sake of equal rights), the child is being tossed "into the other court." 

 

 

That is one thing that leaves me wondering the most.  It seems that today there are so few true non-biological distinctions between genders.  The only hard and fast ones that I can come up with are that boys "don't" typically wear dresses or skirts and don't typically wear makeup and nail polish. Out of all the factors that determine who you can be, I see gender being the least restrictive and thing like family, intelligence, education and income being so much more determinative.

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Well, I am indeed a wonderful scouter: introducing my youth to fire, water, ropes, tarps, magnetic fields, shrimp scampi and fettuccini Alfredo on a bed of fresh lettuce, Islamic philosophy and Christian orthodoxy, and tales of psychologists who don't like when the p-values I compute for them soar in the face their hypotheses. Yep, the kids - and no small number of parents - wind up wondering a lot about me. :p

 

And I call on all of that, including conversations with folks far outside of mine or the youths' bubbles. Thus I read this forum. And thanks for posting. Nothing's off the table.

 

I first learned, in detail, of gender dysphoria years ago from a clinical psychologist on behalf of a friend of a friend. And I moved from a place of "This guy wants to have his cake and eat it too." To "He's rolling the dice on a really costly bet, wish him luck." Through the course of everyday life I've since talked to a half a dozen young adults in similar situations, and. I've also talked to adults who perpetrated hoaxes. I'm pretty sure the two groups don't overlap much.

 

I have also learned, from my profession, that psychopathology that was once defined for adults can, at times, also apply to children. E.g., once upon a time kids didn't get depression diagnoses, then when the symptoms and time course in kids was mapped out, it behaved exactly like the same disorder in adults (with some exceptions, like a higher risk of suicide attempt among depressed kids vs. depressed adults). Surprisingly, kids are people too.

 

Now, with regard to an 8 year old who has a decade ahead before settling on sex transition or not, I don't have clear answers. Should an organization bend for such children, when it hasn't bent for others (i.e., girls/athiests who identify with boys/theists when it comes to hiking and camping)? Can BSA be that organization for boys, even the minority who may eventually want to become women? If so, Why can't GS/USA be the place where the minority of girls who want to be boys learn how they can be young women at the same time? On a larger scale, is our country helped or hurt by "making space" for such people? Is it helped or hurt if that space is exactly the space of the role to which they aspire?

Edited by qwazse

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Thank you Adamcp. I can't imagine how anyone could view transgender as a hoax.

 

Some of us object to a decision a young person and their family may make or has made. This is not our place to make that decision or to try to take it away from the young person and their family just because we don't agree with it. Unless someone has specific knowledge of criminal action, to invoke child abuse is absurd, hyperbolic and prejudicial.

 

But that isn't the issue here. BSA made a membership policy decision with which some of us disagree. That is the issue question: who should be allowed to be a member?

BSA has decided to use the same standard that North Carolina legislated for use of bathrooms. And their decision deserves the same scrutiny and criticism as North Carolina has received because it is similarly flawed.

 

Edit to add: Hedgehog, why let the state (think NC) determine this? Why not just go all the way to local option?

Edited by cyclops

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Hedgehog, why let the state (think NC) determine this? Why not just go all the way to local option?

 

 

The local option on sexual orientation was for adult leaders and not youth membership.  The youth membership rules have always been national whilce CO's have always been able to approve adult leaders.  The local option really removed any BSA rule regarding adult leaders and recognized that the COs have the final decision regarding adult leadership.

 

My goal is to get BSA out of the social policy morass and shift the issue to a more appropriate forum - politics.  It is not up to the BSA to define what a "male" is.  That is determined under the various state laws and is the job of the elected officials of the state legislature to change it if they see fit.  If those elected officials act in a way that is inconsistent with the views of their constitutants (by making a change or by not making a change) they can be voted out and replaced by someone who reflects the views of their constituents.

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I believe one of the high points of my Church's history is when Pope Paul III issued the papal bull, "Sublimis Deus", declaring that Native Americans are human.  Many people of the time were arguing that they were not.

 

It is amazing to me to look back in history and see the many examples where some people claimed that other people weren't human. How can someone born with a human body not be human? 

 

I have to suspect that they actually knew better.  

 

I now hear a similar argument that someone born into a female body might not actually be female, and someone born into a male body might not actually be male.  

 

This is a very dangerous idea.

Edited by David CO

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Not a dangerous idea. It is an acknowledgement of the fact that gender/sex are not as binary as some might want to believe. It has been known for quite some time that some children are born with variations in characteristics which do not fit the binary paradigm. These manifest in both genotype and phenotype variations in not just humans, but other animals as well.

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Not a dangerous idea. It is an acknowledgement of the fact that gender/sex are not as binary as some might want to believe. It has been known for quite some time that some children are born with variations in characteristics which do not fit the binary paradigm. These manifest in both genotype and phenotype variations in not just humans, but other animals as well.

The behavior in question is very rarely explained by gene expression. That's probably a good thing. With abortion on demand, well-meaning parents could attempt to "solve" this problem by a misguided application of eugenics.

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My point was not to explain all aspects or causes of intersex, but simply to point out that this isn't some new idea and in some cases (albeit rare) we do understand the genetic component as it relates chromosomally. In future we will likely learn more about specific gene sequences which trigger other gender expressions. I stand by my comment that this is not some dangerous idea, it is an acknowledgement of reality.

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And by the way, accepting same-old, same-old as a way of life is not what being an Eagle is all about.  Scouting is an adventure, whether it be in your life, your family, your religious organization, your work, your community, your group of friends or your troop,  All of life is an adventure if you make it that way, but it is always up to you what you settle for.

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Since this is a Scouting-related thread, I strongly suggest that it stay that way. If anyone wants to continue to debate about the history of the Roman Catholic church (unless it relates directly to some stand the church may have taken on transgender issues), please start a new thread. I suppose transgender issues in general are within bounds since they may relate to how Scouting should deal with the subject.

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 Issues related to a Boy Scout is Reverent stay in the IP section. :)

 

And for all you Dr. Who fans out there.....RUN!

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Issues related to a Boy Scout is Reverent stay in the IP section. :)

In what forum is that the rule? Not Scouter.com. Discussions that actually relate to the teaching and practice of the 12th point of the Scout law can be in other sections of the forum. But when they devolve into "...and therefore certain kids or adults cannot be involved in Scouting" or "my-religion-is-better-than-yours", as they often do, then yes, they end up in I&P.

 

And when a thread in I&P that relates to Scouting (like this one), seems to be veering off on a tangent into something that has nothing to do with Scouting, as this one did (specifically in cyclops' reaction to one of DavidCO's statements), then it also belongs in I&P... but not in this thread.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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The Boy was referring to the trans issue and the Reverent was referring to the Catholic dialog going on. I just put the two into the same sentence, after all it is the I&P section and they were running parallel there for a while.  While I do not hold the same views as some of the others on the forum, the point being made about the male/female/sex du jour thread boiling down to the premise that everyone his human is pretty valid and should be the underpinning of the conversation.

Edited by Stosh

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Well, sadly, the "boy" is not a boy. Take a DNA test and it will unequivocally establish that the child is a girl. That's a biological fact. No amount of surgery, or hormone therapy, or social conditioning or anything else can change that fact. And membership is not open to girls.

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