The city of Brighton and Hove in the United Kingdom will be teaching a more inclusive sex education curriculum.
Inclusive sex education
School children in the city’s schools will now learn that people of any gender can get their periods. These new lessons were approved by the Brighton & Hove City Council as part of their efforts to tackle menstruation stigma.
These new lessons will be compulsory by 2020.
‘Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods,’ a council report stated. ‘Menstruation must be inclusive of all genders.’
The report recommends that inclusive language be used surrounding these discussions.
‘Language and learning about periods is inclusive of all genders, cultures, faiths and sexual orientations,’ the report notes. ‘For example; “girls and women and others who have periods.”’
According to the report, bins for used menstrual products will now be available in all school restrooms.
The report also calls school nurses to require additional support to trans and non-binary students, if needed.
‘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,’ Brighton & Hove City Council said in a statement.
‘We believe that it’s important for all genders to be able to learn and talk about menstruation together. Our approach recognizes the fact that some people who have periods are trans or non-binary.’
Further, the Council also released a guide called the Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit. It includes resources to help teachers treat the topic of gender with sensitivity.
The Toolkit states that purposely not calling a student by their preferred name and pronouns constitutes harassment. Additionally, it recommends that schools adopt a gender-neutral uniform to make sure all students feel comfortable.
Conservative politician reactions
However, some UK political leaders aren’t happy with these changes.
‘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,’ Tory MP David Davies told The Daily Mail.
Davies called the new sex education curriculum ‘insanity.’
Medical expert reactions
Still, medical experts stand by this inclusive curriculum.
‘There needs to be a clear statement that LGBT people and relationships are part of teaching about healthy relationships in primary school,’ the Royal College of Pediatricians and Child Health (RCPCH) said in a statement.
‘This can be demonstrated in relation to families – but also it is helpful to children to learn the meaning of terms such as lesbian, gay and bisexual.’
This is not the only time people have tried to bring awareness to the idea that trans and non-binary people also experience menstruation. Trans activist Cass Bliss created the hashtag #BleedingWhileTrans to help end the stigma of non-women on their periods.