IRVING, Texas. In a bid to improve its retention of teenaged boys, the Boy Scouts of American have approved a Female Anatomy merit badge that will be available beginning this summer.
“We face a tremendous drop-off in membership once boys reach puberty and discover girls,” said National Council President Leonard Akern. “At some point tying knots loses its allure.”
As with all merit badges, the Female Anatomy award will represent the successful completion of a course of study plus participation in exercises designed to enhance boys’ skill and knowledge of the subject matter. “Many of our adult leaders have neglected the techniques they used in adolescence, so we have recruited trained experts from singles bars around the country,” Akern said. “It’s apparently something you can forget, unlike riding a bicycle.”
Initial surveys from teenage girls indicate that the traditional Boy Scout uniform, which includes shorts and knee-length socks, is not the turn-off that Scouting leaders had anticipated. “The Scouts’ paramilitary look is a classic,” according to Diane Furst of Women’s Wear Daily, a fashion industry trade paper. “To paraphrase an old line, hang a Boy Scout uniform up where a woman can see and it will cop a feel all by itself.”
The Boy Scouts of America promotes citizenship, physical fitness and heterosexuality, a principle for which it fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won in the case of Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. “I view this merit badge as a symbol of our struggle, and we’re not going to make it easy on the kids,” says Akern. “The final exam requires Scouts to unhook a girl’s bra while lighting a fire behind her back using only dry tinder and flint.”