Girl Scouts: Daughters shouldn't be forced to hug relatives for holidays

Girl Scouts: Daughters shouldn't be forced to hug relatives for holidays

The post also comes at a time when sexual harassment and assault accusations are being made against high-profile personalities, including Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken.

"If yes, you might want to reconsider the urge to do that in the future", it says in a blog on its website, shared earlier this month on the organization's Facebook page.

Doing so, they said, 'can set the stage for her questioning whether she "owes" another person any type of physical affection when they've bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life'.

"No girl is going to seriously think she has to get physical with a guy to be polite, just because she had to give Aunt Betty a hug at Christmas when she was little".

The Girl Scouts, meanwhile, said the advice was, in fact, partly in reaction to the recent string of news stories on sexual harassment rocking a growing number of industries, including politics and journalism.

If your daughter is apprehensive about giving out hugs and kisses to relatives, simply "don't force her", the post suggests.

One woman, Tammy Newbold, wrote, "How can you justify this post?" Of course, many children may naturally want to hug and kiss family members, friends, and neighbors, and that's lovely-but if your daughter is reticent, don't force her. As a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, I don't approve of this post. "RUDE? Thankfully, I figured things out". Carter-Ethan Rankin posted on Facebook.

Comments on the post were mixed, with some cheering the Girl Scouts for discussing consent and others saying that this was taking being careful too far. Newsflash: "Girls are NOT that dumb!"

"No one should be compelled to touch anyone they don't want to, especially children", wrote another commenter in support. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends allowing children to refuse physical affection as part of establishing healthy boundaries. Others said it's overkill. "Her body is hers & she doesn't have to hug/kiss anyone, not even me or her Dad". "It certainly wasn't an understanding that they'd never have to give a relative a hug". "But give them choices for how they show affection".

Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, a developmental psychologist at the Girl Scouts, said the notion of consent might appear to be a "very grown-up" topic, but how girls establish physical boundaries and the expectation that they be respected can impact how she sees herself into adulthood. Some noted the advisory should go for boys as well. They are all gone now and I have zero memory of hugging them. 'Maybe I'm insane but hugging that weird uncle that smelled bad 37 Christmases ago hardly threw me into therapy or made me feel I owed anyone anything.



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