I am a reluctant witness against the Girl Scouts. I was a Girl Scout myself, and I know of many honorable women who have devoted years of service to this program. But leaders, parents, supporters and concerned citizens need to know that something has gone very wrong with the Girl Scouts.
On March 1, while I was participating in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations, I was asked to leave a closed-door, “girls only” meeting sponsored by the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). As soon as the meeting ended, I entered the room, and from a stack on the back table, picked up a booklet, “Healthy, Happy, and Hot,” produced by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). I was stunned as I flipped through the pages.
This offensive booklet promotes sexual pleasure to teens. It includes such statements as:
“Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse. But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex.”
The booklet encourages masturbation and talking “dirty” and depicts both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. It also tells HIV-infected teens that they do not have to inform their sexual partners they are infected.
That same day I reported in the “The Family Watch,” (the official newsletter of Family Watch International, where I serve as president) that this vulgar booklet was available to the girls in the meeting. Various news sources picked up the story, and the Girl Scouts promptly issued an official statement in which they denied that GSUSA had distributed booklets and suggested that they had been left by a previous group using the same room.
However, this was the first day of the conference, and the few groups that used the room before the Girls Scouts addressed topics completely unrelated to those in the booklet. Since we broke the news story, two young women who were at the Girls Only meeting have contacted me to report that they also saw the inappropriate eye-catching brochures on the table, as well as in the hands of several of the teenage participants in the Girl Scout meeting.
It is important to note that the Girl Scouts have never stated that they believe the booklet is unsuitable and highly inappropriate; they have just said they did not actively pass them out. What they really need to do is denounce the booklet to come clean.
A few days later, Family Watch UN representatives, Carol Nixon and Lynn Douglas (Family Watch had a team of 30 volunteers monitoring UN meetings at CSW), attended another UN Girl Scout meeting, organized by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), of which Girl Scouts of the USA is an official member. One of the panelists from the European Youth Forum boasted at this event about how they partner with International Planned Parenthood to reach children though non-formal education programs (such as the Girl Scouts) to teach acceptance of gays, lesbians and transgenders at an early age (WAGGGS is an official member of the European Youth Forum.)