I think it's good to view gender specific activities with caution whether it's
creating a women's embroidery group or making events "more friendly for women.
While I like the Girl Scouts, I heard a NY times episode where girls wished they could do
all the cool adventure and science projects the boy Scouts do. Usually they get directed
to community service and making jewelry which is a little sad!
when I see how Girl Scouts are directed to community service and work it reminds me of the
"women's groups" I see popping up even today at women in tech spaces. maybe
there's a solution where people can stop getting pushed into these really weird
Despite the similarities between the programs, a 2011 study in Gender & Society, a
journal focused on gender studies, found that Girl Scouts are generally discouraged from
scientific pursuits while Boy Scouts are pushed away from artistic interests.
The study found that the girls are offered more art activities than the boys, but science
activities make up only 2% of their activities and 6% for the boys. The girls’ activities
are more communal, with 30% of their badge work taking place in groups, while the boys
work is more self-oriented with less than 20% of their work taking place in a group.
The study also found that boys were instructed to look for answers in the back of their
guide, something that “fosters intellectual dependence and passivity”, whereas girls were
encouraged to do original research.
What badges can they earn?
There are over 100 merit badges offered to Boy Scouts in subject areas including sports,
crafts, science, trades, business and future careers. In order to earn a badge, a scout
must pick the subject they’re interested in, meet with a merit badge counselor, complete
the task, and then present either the finished product or their new knowledge to the
The Girl Scouts also offer a range of badges, in areas including first aid, crafting and
practical life skills. Scouts must prove themselves proficient in an area before receiving
a badge. Some subjects (cookie business, financial literacy, skill building, etc) have
progression badges, where scouts earn a higher level in the same subject area as they grow
increasingly proficient. They also offer the Make Your Own Badge option for those scouts
whose interests lie outside of the offerings.