Proposed Florida Bill Would Ban Some Sex Education

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

Claire Sloniewsky, Staff Writer

In early March of this year, the Florida House Education Quality Subcommittee issued a controversial piece of legislation. This bill would mandate that only children from grade six through twelfth would be able to learn about human sexuality topics. These topics include menstruation, reproduction, and sexually transmitted diseases. The bill would also prevent children experiencing changes before sixth grade from learning about these important topics. For example, if a young female was to begin her menstrual cycle in grades four or five, conversations regarding this circumstance would be strictly prohibited.

According to NHS Inform, periods can begin as early as eight years old, around second grade, to as late as sixteen, around grade ten. The age varies and limited education on menstruation could have serious consequences on young females who begin menstruating early. In addition, the legislation also emphasizes heterosexual relationships, thus lacking representation to those who are not heterosexual. The bill states that teachers should “teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage” (CBS).

This bill could considerably affect youth education and individuals who are not heterosexual, due to the inclusion of clauses that would severely restrict non-heterosexuality-based education. Opponents hope that this piece of legislation does not advance, and that the basics of menstruation, reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexuality representation will continue to be taught to children of all ages within the state of Florida.