Right or Wrong? Should Boy Scouts Exclude Homosexuals?
When the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was organized, society as a whole, including the scientific community, believed that those who engaged in homosexual acts were morally flawed. People also tended to accept the premise that homosexuals posed a threat to children, whom, it was thought, homosexuals wished to “corrupt.” At some point, the psychiatric community concluded that homosexuality was a mental disorder in need of treatment.
In more recent years, psychiatry and other branches of social science have come to accept homosexual behavior as “normal;” and academia and the mass media tend to support this view. While most polls indicate that a majority of the population still regards homosexual behavior as morally culpable, that majority is shrinking.
During this period, BSA has maintained its policy on the basis that homosexuals pose a danger to Scouts. But those who demand that BSA accept homosexual Scoutmasters insist that science supports their point of view — that empirical studies demonstrate that homosexuals are no more likely to be “immoral” in their non-sexual behavior and no more likely to molest children. In short, the drive to introduce homosexual leaders into Scouting is intended to force BSA to conform to “scientific reality.”
But what does the empirical evidence really say? Read on to find out.