Teen Vogue asserts 10-year-old girls must receive family planning guidance in sex ed
March 27, 2023
Teen Vogue is advocating schools teach 10-year-old girls about their periods so they can time their sexual activity to prevent pregnancy. Such a form of birth control for grade schoolers has become that much more important since the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, a new article argues.
The Teen Vogue piece comes in response to Florida House Bill 1069. This bill would prohibit sexual (and menstrual) education before grade six, when students are typically 11 to 12 years old.
“Restricting conversations around menstruation, a normal bodily process, would be incredibly damaging, especially now: Post-Roe, parents, educators, health care workers, and others who work with children and young adults should be overcommunicating about the function of menstruation,” according to the article.
By itself, menstrual education is certainly worthwhile and should not be controversial. Nor should broader sexual education in an innocuous context at a mature age. However, Teen Vogue specifically focuses on menstrual education in an overtly sexualized context, post-Roe.
“‘[If you censor conversations around [menstruation]], you’re going to set up a big problem for young [people] around the issues of pregnancy and family planning’,” an OB-GYN explains in the article. That’s to say, menstrual education for 10-year-olds is hugely important for them to know how to have sex without getting pregnant now that they can no longer have late-term abortions in some states.
You read that right.
Even if you accepted the story’s insistence on sex ed for grade schoolers, it grossly exaggerates how many girls it seems to think deserve such education. The headline warns that Florida Republicans “are trying to ban kids” in general from menstrual discussions. In fact, “many people” – not only girls, mind you – begin menstruating before the bill’s sixth-grade cut-off for sex ed, the author asserts.
According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, depending on the time period, only 10% or fewer of American girls have their first period by age 10. One in 10 American girls is far fewer than “many people.”
Besides not sexualizing 10-year-olds, House Bill 1069’s other horrors include empowering parents to refuse their children access to materials about sexual identity and requiring schools to teach children their sexual identity is determined at birth.
While one OB-GYN in the article wonders how the bill’s monstrous legislators sleep at night, another OB-GYN declares that “education and empowerment” regarding 10-year-olds’ menstruation “should not be seen as controversial.”