Australia

UK council says 'boys can have periods', causing controversy

A UK council has issued new sex education guidance. Source: AAP

Promoting a more inclusive approach to sex education in schools takes centre stage for a council in the UK.

A UK council has recommended school students be taught that "all genders" can have periods.

Brighton and Hove City Council issued advice to schools earlier this month, urging them to recognise "trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods".

"In a #periodpositive school ... language and learning about periods is inclusive of all genders, cultures, faiths and sexual orientations. For example; 'girls and women and others who have periods'," a council report said.

The report said this inclusive approach will help "challenge stigma and shame" around periods.

Brighton and Hove City Council also recommended that bins for used disposable menstrual products be provided in "all toilets".

In a statement to the UK's Telegraph newspaper, a spokesperson for the council said, "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 transgender or non-binary," the spokesperson said.

However, some have criticised the measure.

Tory MP David Davies tweeted it was the "latest example of barking mad trans-activism".

While Transgender Trend, a group which claims to represent "parents questions in the trans narrative" tweeted it the move was "deliberately confusing".

The rights of transgender students in Australia and support they are offered have been debated over recent months.

In September, Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to a report saying teachers were being taught how to spot potentially transgender students by tweeting that schools "do not need gender whisperers".

Shortly after the tweet, transgender student Evie Macdonald slammed the prime minister for being "disrespectful".

"I went to a Christian school where I had to pretend to be a boy and spent weeks in conversion therapy. We get one childhood and mine was stolen from me by attitudes like this," she told Channel Ten's The Project.

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Mr Morrison went on to blast a push to allow parents in Tasmania to choose whether to include their baby’s sex on a birth certificate.

"Labor's plan to remove gender from birth certificates in Tasmania is ridiculous," he tweeted in November.

While a deadlocked federal parliament earlier this month failed to pass laws that would have stopped LGBTQI+ students being expelled by religious schools.

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