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JLeslie's avatar

In light of recent articles about the state of Florida’s practice of asking female high school athletes menstrual cycle questions, does the information in this article surprise you?

Asked by JLeslie (64650points) 1 month ago from iPhone

Here’s the article:

In a nutshell it looks like a lot of states do it. I googled because I was curious how long Florida has been asking these questions and curious what other states do it.

I don’t think it’s necessary for schools to ask, but I wasn’t going to be surprised if it’s on a lot of standard forms. What took so long for someone to bring it into question?

How often are girls asked about their period? One time when they first start on the team? Every month?

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30 Answers

RayaHope's avatar

This doesn’t surprise me since I already know about it. Fortunately for me I’m not an athlete because of my health issues, so I don’t have to fill out that form, but I know a bunch of girls that are. Because they’re in basketball they have to fill out a form like that and I think it is an invasion of privacy and should be against their HIPPA rights. I’m just glad they have pads and stuff in the restrooms here.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Genital inspections are too far. Information about my cycle wouldn’t bother me, though. Doctors ask us from our first GYN visit, so it isn’t anything odd, telling your coach, to me.

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NoMore's avatar

Florida, figures. Republican state. Thought Repubs were all for small government and against government interference in citizen lives? Guess that only applies to how many fucking guns you own. Those people are full of shit as s holiday turkey.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@NoMore It’s also an established fact that men are far more resistant to healthcare than women. Seems more like a gender issue than rights.

gorillapaws's avatar

Forgive my ignorance, but is there any practical or medical reason a coach or the school would need to know about a girl’s menstrual cycle? I’ve never had a period myself—though as a brother and husband, I’‘m reasonably familiar with the process…

jca2's avatar

It’s creepy and paternalistic.

@RayaHope HIPAA concerns the provider (the doctor) and patient communications. The patient can feel free to communicate with others regarding thier health issues and it’s not a HIPAA violation. I’m not justifying the period questions, just explaining to you that it’s not a HIPAA concern.

jca2's avatar

Also, it’s HIPAA not HIPPA>

canidmajor's avatar

I am constantly and completely grossed out by the fascination all those adults have with the genitalia of minors.

Unless someone is made seriously, physically ill by menstruation there is really zero need for anyone outside of the family or the family physician to know anything about it. When I was in high school, long ago, if an athlete was having a rough period, she simply told her coach, and allowances were made.
This attitude now is perverted.

Locke's avatar

As someone who was an unabashed nerd in high school and never played a sport (and went to a school where we didn’t shower after P.E.) I’ve always found this confusing and difficult to understand. I guess it’s one thing if it’s a doctor asking the question and the information is not shared with the school, but if the question is not relevant or necessary to know for the student’s immediate health, then I don’t know why it needs to be asked at all.

As for “genital inspection”, well, any comprehensive physical exam is a “genital inspection” in some sense, but I think the idea is that it’s being done to weed out trans kids and that’s obviously wrong, and once again, only a doctor should be performing a physical and no one should be “inspected” at a school.

raum's avatar

More transphobic policy in a Republican state.

raum's avatar

I’m gonna recycle my answer to another question (with one small tweak).

Not a surprising move.
But still pretty shitty.

Plenty of predictable evil in the world Republican Party.

JLeslie's avatar

The article says 44 states ask about menstruation. 44! That’s not just Republican states obviously.

I’m completely against any sort of “genitalia” inspection requirement. I don’t care if it’s a doctor, I’m a big fat no on that.

I think females are routinely asked about their periods for health reasons and CYA. “We need to X-ray your chest to check for pneumonia, any chance you are pregnant, when was your last period?” That’s a liability question. At school an example might be, “you let her play soccer and she miscarried.” The school replies, “we didn’t even know she was pregnant.”

Not that I support the school asking the girls. In one way I see it as routine, because girls are constantly asked. In another I’m in the creepy camp. The creepy camp wins out for me, because I just don’t think it’s necessary.

raum's avatar

I would not feel comfortable with my cisgender daughters sharing information about their menstrual period in a Republican state for a number of reasons.

RayaHope's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie that I don’t think it’s any of the schools business although it’s common place to me since they always do this. But thinking about it is is kinda creepy and I never really thought of it as a liability thing for the school.

janbb's avatar

It is disingenuous to not conclude that most of the reason is to discourage trans athletes from participating.

Zaku's avatar

As a boy who didn’t want to join sports teams outside PE, I still felt like I was being violated by the authoritarian attitudes and behavior of some PE teachers.

If faced with seemingly-inappropriate questions, I would:

1. Ask why they want to know.
2. If not a reason that I agree with, ask what happens if I refuse to tell them.
3. If they threaten unwanted consequences of not telling them, I’d feel utterly justified in lying to them about the answer.
4. To hell with requiring girls to answer questions about their periods. Should be entirely voluntary, if there’s any actual good reason for it (is there?)

JLeslie's avatar

There are so few trans people, I don’t understand making this such a huge political issue. It’s just flat out mean if that’s the reason. The reason I doubt that’s the sole reason is because it’s been going on for years, before the Republicans started making it an issue.

I am conflicted about letting trans girls compete with girls. I guess if they have hormone therapy then the playing field is relatively level.

Checking genitalia is total bullshit, because a percentage of people have malformed genitalia or chromosomes are a triple instead of pair XXY for example. In my opinion it’s abuse.

Really, when you think about it, ages 12 to 18 there are so many variations of hormones, strength, and stature among young people that there will always be a degree of variation.

I don’t see how asking a young person about their period rules out being trans? They could lie. What will happen? They get kicked off the team? Some girls don’t menstruate when they are very lean and athletic. Some girls don’t start until 16. I finished high school when I was 16, just a few weeks short of 17.

What about girls with PCOS? They sometimes go months without getting a period.

It’s ridiculous.

JLoon's avatar

No. I’m not surprised.

But “conservative” politcs in Florida & other states have got nothing to do with it.

Really, nothing.

Voluntary collection of menstrual/period info for female athletes began in a few universities & high schools shortly after Title IX legislation passed in the US as part of Education Act ammendments in 1972. Guidelines became more standardized in 1982 under NCCAA :
The Female Athlete, (1996)

Right now over ⅔ of states have rules in place that allow women players to report their cycles by choice, as part of individual player monitoring and broader ongoing medical research :

“At least 44 States Currently Ask Female High School Athletes About Their Menstrual Period”

And that incudes blue, red, and purple states. If you’re looking for some “party line” pattern – there isn’t one.

I reported details on my periods when I was playing NCAA Div 2 basketball from 2010 to early 2012. I was okay with that & so were most of my teamates. Why? Because any woman who’s ever played competitive sports knows that periods can and do effect performance. The idea is that coaches, trainers, and team doctors with have the details they need to support their athletes for peak play and teach strategies that promote self-care and avoid injuries.

So – lets all take a deep breath. On this issue Ron DeSantis is not leading some right wing attack on women & LGBQT rights. He’s falling in line with standard practice.

But don’t worry. If you’re not a Ronfan, odds are his jackass tendencies will soon give you plenty of other reasons to dislike him.

Play on.

JLoon's avatar

P.S. – Partly because of the broad medical research based in part on self reporting of menstrual cycle info, we know that roughly 25% of elite female athletes have irregual periods. And other data shows women have higher rates for some types of injury, compared to males (68.7% vs 41.5%) :

So the knowing even the “intimate” details does matter when it comes to setting the boundaries of competition.

JLeslie's avatar

@JLoon Yes, thank you. It’s not like DeSantis came up with the idea. It’s obvious by the statistics. 44 states! Why is it an issue now? Because Democrats want to find anything to make him look bad, but as usual, I, like you, think it’s better to go after the real problems he creates. If it was such an affront to feminists, liberals, and the LGBT community, what the hell took them so long? YEARS.

I don’t really feel it should be required to report, maybe we differ there.

JLoon's avatar

@JLeslie – When I played, there was 1 questionaire the entire team filled out at the beginning of each season. No other follow-ups or mandatory requirements.

But informally we were encouraged to let coaches know if anything unusual occured, especially before scheduled games. I think this approach would still make sense now.

NoMore's avatar

@JLoon You done done did hurt my feelings saying something positive about conservatives. Tsk tsk young lady! I’m crushed

JLoon's avatar

@NoMore – Yeah, how did that happen??

Must be my period… ;-)

JLeslie's avatar

@JLoon I don’t think I played, swam, or danced, any differently when I had my period, except to say I did have very bad cramps the first day (after the first day nothibg) and if I had been in any serious competition I could see how that might affect things, but probably I would have stayed on top of taking ibuprofen more if I was in a competition.

NoMore's avatar

@JLoon Ok then, but don’t ask how many assault rifles I have in my arsenal. I can’t go dove hunting with anything less than a bazooka. ; )

gorillapaws's avatar

@NoMore “I can’t go dove hunting with anything less than a bazooka. ; )”

Must’ve had a heart attack.

smudges's avatar

I didn’t finish reading the article; I was disgusted enough by what I did read. I have no problem with inquiries regarding menstruation for valid reasons such as @JLoon cited.

I vehemently do have a problem with examining genitals. There are numerous reasons why this can be a devastating experience for the young men involved. Prior sexual abuse, painful shyness, genital abnormalities, and various personality differences and/or diagnoses can all contribute to the exam being harmful and having long term negative effects.

Additionally, I believe we all know that one is never able to determine a pedophile based on the persona presented to the public. I know that some of you will think this is a stretch, but it seems to me like this is one more opportunity for abuse to occur. I would trust an exam by the family’s physician infinitely more than I would trust a coach or school doctor to conduct the exam.

It’s also sexist. Why don’t they require females to have an exam, also? which would be equally outrageous and unacceptable! Don’t they know that MTF surgeries also occur?

This genital exam requirement is just wrong.

RayaHope's avatar

I agree with @smudges that this type of thing should be done ONLY by the family’s physician and not the public school. A school doctor/nurse should only be on call in case of emergencies.

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