We are taking a wait-and-see attitude about the Boy Scouts of America decision to admit girls to its Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs. It's wise to neither embrace nor reject something new until we see how it plays out with first adopters.
Societal changes have injected chaos into the Boy Scout headquarters in Irving since 2013. After years of discrimination, the Scouts accepted members who identify as gay. Then, a year later, BSA accepted adult staffers and volunteers (Scoutmasters) who are openly gay. The world still turns.
Now we have the girls issue. Traditionalists are swooning and social liberals who abhor any form of discrimination or segregation are shrugging at the prospect of girls becoming Eagle Scouts.
How and when to mix males and females in educational programs is not a static question in the United States. It's ever changing. Social scientists duel with each other about whether students function better in a co-ed environment or a single-sex environment.
In recent years, some urban school districts have created all-male and all-female academies for high school students. They see it as progressive. Others have disbanded such academies as anachronisms and relics.
What we do know is that there is no reason for anyone's hair to catch fire because of the Scouting program's acceptance of girl members. Truth be told, BSA membership has been declining in recent years. Embracing girl members expands its potential market and promises to fatten its finances.
Trail Life USA, a conservative organization that competes with BSA in the youth development sphere, issued a press release saying it will not admit girls.
"We remain a place where boys can be boys," its press release said.
The Trail Life press release referred to the BSA decision as "gender blurring." We have to disagree. The boys will still be boys and the girls will still be girls.
Scouting organizations in other countries have accepted co-ed programs for many years. Some have taken the word "Boy" or "Girl" out of their names. The Boy Scouts of America should keep its name.
Texas Woman's University began accepting male students in the 1970s. We didn't need to change TWU's name. We just needed to make its student body more inclusive.
As the United States has evolved during the last 100 years, inclusion has been our goal; not exclusion. We've included women in the right to vote. Women get credit in their own names and don't need a husband's approval to buy property.
Our black citizens are now included in all aspects of life -- and not excluded. Gay and lesbian citizens, once excluded from marriage, are now included. Architectural barriers once excluded physically disabled citizens from many buildings. Now, their needs are included in design plans.
Political hyperventilation about the Boy Scouts' decision to include girls is not constructive or helpful. BSA has been a wonderful institution for more than 100 years. And it remains so. Let's see how "the girl thing" goes.