Beyond Pink and Blue: Are Scout Handbooks Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes?

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Boy and Girl Scouts of America

Shocker alert: The Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts are a bit archaic when it comes to gender stereotypes. 

A University of Maryland researcher studying the organizations handbooks found that there were stark differences between the girls’ handbook and the boys’ handbook, reports Discovery News. More importantly, these differences fell along the lines of traditional gender stereotypes.

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For example, the tasks required to earn badges for girls largely fell in the realm of arts, while boys’ tasks were more science and math-driven. Another difference was the name of the badges: 27% of the girls’ badges had cutesy names, while none of the boys’ badges did. The geology badge, for example, is called the “Rocks Rock Badge” for girls and called the “Geologist Badge” for boys.

Alright, so perhaps it’s not that surprising that such an old organization still adheres to such old-fashioned gender roles. And while it’s definitely not ideal, NewsFeed can’t help but feeling more surprised by the fact that approximately 5 million children still participate in Boy and Girl Scouts groups. Who knew? (via Discovery News)

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