Girl Scouts warn parents about the impact of forced hugs

Girl Scouts advise families not to make their daughters hug at Christmas

Girl Scouts to parents: Don't force your daughter to hug grandpa this Christmas

The piece comes as some of the most powerful men in almost every major industry - from Hollywood to journalism to politics - are being publicly called out for sexual harassment and assault. "Children need to hear that from their parents, an adult", Myers-Mitchell said.

Past research also suggests that almost one in three episodes of sexual abuse of a child is perpetrated by a family member. "There are many other ways to show appreciation, thankfulness, and love that don't require physical contact".

"I think it's a great thing for young girls and young boys for us to talk about it as a way to prevent it rather than as a way to investigate it or accuse people or try to make people afraid of other people", Fletcher said. "If she doesn't want to touch people, she doesn't have to".

"Obviously, our advice will not apply in all situations, and we recognize that parents and caregivers are in the best position to judge which conversations they should have with their girls", it added.

The Girl Scouts have a history of taking on polarizing subjects regarding girls, women and gender identity.

GRAPHIC: The Girl Scouts logo was designed by Saul Bass in 1978.

She says girls have to understand that a hug is a gift - not something you have to do or you're forced to do. "Even at the holidays".

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While this may be an uncomfortable thought for parents just days before Thanksgiving, Lt. Latosha Myers-Mitchell, who heads the Domestic Violence and Victim Services Division with HPD, said it's an important topic to discuss.

"This is right up there with giving out participation trophies-ridiculous!", wrote another. Sure, teach kids to be respectful. "Teach them to know the difference". "Of course we all want our kids to be loving and kind". The group posted on its website and on its Facebook page an admonishment to parents and guardians that they could be scarring their children.

Actress Amber Tamblyn, who has campaigned against sexual harassment in Hollywood, backed the Girl Scouts.

Former Girl Scout Stephanie Barnett says she's glad the organization is warning parents about the issue.

The Girl Scouts suggest allowing your daughter to choose how to express her feelings, whether verbally or though physical affection such as hugs or high fives.

The idea from the Girl Scouts is to let children decide how and when they want to show affection.

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