FHSAA backtracks, removes menstrual history question

Logo courtesy: FHSAA

Florida high schools have been asking female students for their menstrual history in order to participate in athletics. In the past it was optional, but the Florida High School Athletic Association recently proposed a mandatory report from female student-athletes.

Students and parents grew increasingly skeptical about the motives behind the requirement. With last summer’s overturning of Roe. v. Wade, many Floridians wondered if this was a way to gain added supervision on personal data.

Apparently, the Florida High School Athletic Association was listening. Its board of directors held an emergency meeting Thursday where it took a vote following an influx of concerns.

The result was 14-2 in favor of removing questions about menstrual history. A new adaptation of the form has been proposed.

Kayla Clary, a former Florida A&M University track and field athlete, says the original proposal was highly inappropriate and a breach of respect. She is relieved to know that FHSAA will not follow through.

“A woman’s menstrual cycle is private and comes with many challenges every month. That was violating,” Clary said. “I understand why they received so much backlash because it was a disrespectful ask in the first place.”

While the proposal was solely aimed at women, men have strong feelings about the request. Although men are not directly infringed upon, it affects them through the women in their life.

Xavion Lockwood, a member of Florida State University’s track team, says he is disappointed to see how women are treated in society. He did not want to see his friends and family embarrassed.

“I am glad that it did not get approved, but it is sad to know they were even considering it,” Lockwood said. “I would hate for my younger female cousins to feel uncomfortable in the sport they have grown to love.”

The information requested asked questions such as when their first menstrual period was, how long they usually last, and how many they have had this year. Females often do not have easy access to the answers to these questions.

Domonique Shelton, a gymnast and cheerleader at Florida A&M University, says she is not surprised by the outcome because this would not have been effective in her sport. She says girls may never have a menstrual cycle while competing so when telling the truth it can appear as a lie with nothing to submit.

“The intensity of some sports makes a cycle completely inactive,” Shelton said. “There are so many factors that made this invalid like birth control pills.”

The oral contraceptive has been known to diminish menstrual cycles while in use. On the new form student athletes will now be asked for their sex assigned at birth.