Florida bill limits discussion of female anatomy in school

What age should students be taught about sexual education?

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Hannah Adams, Asst. Opinion Editor

In March 2023, the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the limitations on conversations regarding sexual orientation and gender identity to the eighth grade. 

The bill will take extra measures to restrict the rights of transgender people within Florida, as well as limit school curriculum concerning sex and female anatomy. 

For example, the bill explains that menstrual cycles can only be discussed between students above the age of 12. The parameters of this bill have also created more accessibility for parents to challenge the curriculum being taught in their children’s classrooms and the guidelines of discussions between teachers and students. 

The bill was passed by a vote of 77-35 in the primarily Republican house and distinguishes that the use of any pronouns that differ from the biological sex of the individual is false. 

The DeSantis administration made many moves against the transgender community after a series of policies that were initiated last fall. This included two state medical approved board rules that banned transgender minors from receiving hormone therapies and some surgeries. 

In an article from NBC, a woman referred to as Jane Doe expressed her concerns in a news release for her daughter now that this bill has been enacted. 

Our daughter is a happy, confident child but denying her access to the medical care recommended by her doctors would completely disrupt her life,” Doe said. “I’m devastated by what this will mean for her physical and mental health.”

Along with the other restrictions enacted by this bill, it is also disclosed that schools cannot educate students on menstruation until they are above the age of 12. In general, young women get their periods sometime around the age of 10. The initiation of this bill will force teachers to refrain from teaching on the topic to their students, regardless of whether or not menstruation has started for them. 

GC junior psychology major Christy Garlock felt that these parameters were unjust. 

“I think that the law shouldn’t even be a discussion,” Garlock said. “Girls should be learning about this stuff as early as necessary so it doesn’t come as a surprise later. Also, I can’t stand when a man is the one creating laws surrounding the anatomy of a woman.”

The enacting of this Florida bill will further open the door for parents having more extensive input on their children’s curriculum. Teachers will now have to filter out any discussions pertaining to topics of sexual orientation, gender identity, certain female anatomical functions and sex. In an article regarding these administrative actions, Human Rights Campaign writer Delphine Luneau elaborated further on what these limitations will mean for the future. 

“The Stop WOKE Act limits protected speech in workplaces and classrooms by censoring honest dialogue about systemic racism, gender, and race discrimination,” Luneau said. “The legislation also changes Florida’s employment discrimination statutes to give employees the ability to file discrimination claims against an employer engaging in trainings or discussions about Black history, LGBTQ+ issues, and other concepts of injustice and discrimination.”

Florida is now one of eight states to restrict healthcare pertaining to transitional procedures and the transgender community. This bill has been paired with an identical rule passed by the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine. The standards of this bill will be upheld via HB 1223, which states that sex is inextricable from biology.