Just under half of Americans approve of allowing gay scout leaders, but a fifth still think gay men are more likely to molest children
The national organization for Boy Scouts, Boy Scouts of America (BSA), last week removed a national ban on gay scout leaders. Individual troops are still allowed to decide whether or not they want a gay scout leader but troops which decide to accept gay leaders or volunteers will no longer face sanction from the national organization. Republican Presidential hopefuly Scott Walker had to walk back from comments in which he said that the ban 'protected children', clarifying that he really meant that the ban protected children from the debate.
YouGov's latest research shows that Americans tend to approve (47%) rather than disapprove (38%) of the decision to allow gay adults to become scout leaders. Only Americans over the age of 65% tend to oppose (55%) rather than support (31%) the move, but most Americans below the age of 45 approve of the decision. People aged 45 to 64 narrowly approve (45%) rather than disapprove (38%).
One of the more widespread incorrect myths about gay men is that they molest children at far higher rates than heterosexual men.
Most Americans (52%) disagree with that belief, but 22% of Americans still think that 'gay men molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals'. Only 16% of under-30s think that this is true, but 31% of over-65s think that gay men molest children at far higher rates.
Unsurprisingly 73% of Americans who think that gay men are more likely to molest also disapprove of the decision to allow gay scout leaders. 70% of Americans who don't think gay men are more likely to molest children approve of the decision.