In new sex education guidance in the United Kingdom, primary school children as young as eight years old will be told 'boys can have periods' too. To tackle the taboo around menstruating, teachers have been advised similarly by Brighton Council to teach young children. However, the new rules have received harsh criticism for trying to confuse young children.
The teacher guidance, from Brighton & Hove City Council, states: 'Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods' and 'menstruation must be inclusive of all genders'. It says that "bins for used period products are provided in all toilets" for children. Also, trans pupils and students should be provided with additional support from a school nurse if required. Sex Education Before College Lowers Risk of Sexual Assault.
The emergence comes after it was reported that a state secondary in Brighton has 40 pupils who 'do not identify as gender presented at birth'. Daily Mail quoted Tory MP David Davies as saying that explaining the concept of transgender boys having periods to eight-year-olds would be 'insanity' for teachers. He said, "Learning about periods is already a difficult subject for children that age, so to throw in the idea girls who believe they are boys also have periods will leave them completely confused." Scotland Becomes 1st Country in The World to Embed LGBTQ Inclusive Education in School Curriculum.
Stephanie Davies-Arai, from the campaign group Transgender Trend, said, "Girls going through puberty are already having a difficult time. What they should be given is clear language to be able to talk about their bodies and their female biological functions without couching it in politically correct terms." Campaigner Julie Bindel said, "To tell impressionable children that boys can also menstruate sidelines girls who should be getting support when they start their periods."
The report quoted Brighton & Hove City Council as saying, "By encouraging effective education on menstruation and puberty, we hope to reduce stigma and ensure no child or young person feels shame in asking for period products inside or outside of school if they need them. We believe that it’s important for all genders to be able to learn and talk about menstruation together… Our approach recognises the fact that some people who have periods are trans or non-binary."