So apparently the Boy Scouts of America are no longer going to kick scouts out of the organization for being born homosexual. You know, like they did to Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Andresen way back in October of 2012. I think that they expect those of us who are friends of the GLBT community, enemies of bigotry, and/or just fucking decent human beings to applaud the BSA for their new policy of tolerance and inclusion.
Fuck that shit.
The Boy Scouts are still going to be kicking troop leaders, volunteers, and camp counselors out of scouting because of their sexuality. You know, like they did to Eagle Scout Eric Jones last year. Because, you know, you can’t trust adult homosexuals, even those who have spent 12 years as scouts and have earned the highest rank available, in leadership positions because apparently they become lusty cockmonsters who can’t resist playing priest and altar boy as soon as they have any authority over young boys.
This new policy is an attempt by the Boy Scouts to have it both ways. They want to be able to point to the fact that scouts can be gay as proof that they do not discriminate and that they are a tolerant, progressive organization, while trying to keep the religious bigots happy by protecting the innocent little children from the influence of homosexuals. Personally, I think this half assed compromise is worse than their original policy. Banning homosexuals from leadership and volunteer positions reenforces the bigoted, and false, idea that child molesters are gay men. What other impression can this decision give other than that they are protecting the children from a threat that would occur if homosexuals were permitted in leadership positions?
This is a hurtful and dangerous stereotype. Gay men are not more likely than straight men to molest young boys. In fact, not only does this policy suggest that homosexuals are more likely to abuse, the policy could actually put children at risk by lulling homophobic parents into a false sense of security. “Well, we don’t have to worry about little Jimmy getting molested since the Boy Scouts are keeping those gays from being troop leader. Meanwhile, those of us who actually study psychology know that the issue is much more complicated than that.
For the present discussion, the important point is that many child molesters cannot be meaningfully described as homosexuals, heterosexuals, or bisexuals (in the usual sense of those terms) because they are not really capable of a relationship with an adult man or woman. Instead of gender, their sexual attractions are based primarily on age. These individuals – who are often characterized as fixated – are attracted to children, not to men or women.
Using the fixated-regressed distinction, Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47%) were classified as “fixated;” 70 others (40%) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13%) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that “in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women….There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males…” (p.180).
Other researchers have taken different approaches, but have similarly failed to find a connection between homosexuality and child molestation. Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children’s hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in fewer than 1% in which an adult molester could be identified – only 2 of the 269 cases (Jenny et al., 1994).
This decision is going to satisfy no one. For the bigots, allowing homosexuals to be scouts is an outrage that will cause many churches to stop sponsoring Boy Scout troops and probably lead to more off shoot scouting groups, each striving to be more hateful than the last. For the GLBT community, the decision still discriminates against homosexuals and promotes a false and hateful stereotype against homosexuals. For secularists, you can still be kicked out of the Boy Scouts for the sin of not believing in God, which means that even if they throw open their doors to homosexuals in every way possible, it is still a religious group that practices discrimination.
When scouting is open to all, regardless of race, sexuality, or creed, only then will the BSA deserve our praise. I don’t have any friends that are half bigoted; why would I praise an organization for being partially homophobic?