You do NOT want the pat down. Pat down is a lie, its a squeeze down that can turn into a strip down, and hasn't happened to me but even a FULL body cavity check. And no, they won't allow you to request a female does it, it has to be same sex, as that somehow makes it less invasive. Just try not to yelp.
The body scan sucks from a privacy standpoint, but the government has people so outright frightened with this constant terrorism fear mongering that there is no way its going away.
I just wish they would have spent some of those trillions in mostly wasted Obamabucks to actually build a high-speed rail system between major cities, but nope.