One of the more profound observations contained in Girls on the Edge was that youth groups can be profoundly damaging to young girls. The damage occurs, often in spite of everyone's best intentions, because most kids are, to put it frankly, quite stupid. They simply lack wisdom. This isn't a moral failing in any sense, because young people, by definition, are not old people, and as such, lack the experience that older people possess.
The collective stupidity, incidentally, is why church youth groups suck. I remember hating every minute of church youth groups I was generally forced to attend when I was younger, but I could never figure out why I hated them.
I always figured my hatred of said youth groups was due to my rather severe introversion. I hate being around other people, generally speaking, and find it rather difficult to converse normally with others. My shyness was especially apparent when I was around girls, although, thanks to Citizen Renegade, that has improved considerably. Even so, I still make a point of avoiding people.
I also figured that part of my dislike for church youth groups was due to my parents expecting me to have a large degree of Biblical knowledge from a young age. That's what happens when you're a preacher's son. As such, I was considerably more knowledgeable than all the kids in the various youth groups in which I participated, with the only exception being my younger brother. In some cases, my knowledge of the Bible greatly exceeded that of my teachers. This, as can be imagined, was quite frustrating to me.
However, in light of recently reading Girls on the Edge, I now think that my dislike of church youth groups is a function of the collective ignorance that these groups tend to possess. If I have to socialize, I prefer to be wiser as a result. This was never the case with youth groups, so I made a point of avoiding them altogether whenever possible. In fact, most of social time was spent in the presence of adults who were a couple decades older than me.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this inane practice: instead of grouping people by age, group them by gender. By this I mean that girls should spend time with older women, and that boys should socialize with men. This should provide a much healthier social climate for both boys and girls, and should help them to acquire the wisdom necessary to make it through life.