Hi all. Recently, there was (still is) quite an uproar in the state of Florida over Governor Ron DeSantis supposedly requiring all female student-athletes in the state to provide detailed information about their periods in order to compete in organized sports. That doesn't sound good, now does it? Government overreach writ large, right? Not quite, because important context was missing from the conversation, and the factcheckers disagree with that narrative. From the Associated Press, which politically speaking tends to lean more to the left, so I take it they would be a safe source to share in a group like this one.-
"CLAIM: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is requiring all female student-athletes in the state to provide detailed information about their periods in order to compete in organized sports.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The Florida High School Athletic Association is weighing the recommendation from an advisory committee, but no final decision has been made. DeSantis’ education commissioner is a member of the association’s board of directors and the commissioner also appoints three others, but the association is a private nonprofit organization, not a state agency under the purview of the governor’s office.
THE FACTS: Social media users are suggesting the conservative Republican governor, who has been an outspoken critic of transgender athletes, is again using sports to stoke controversy as he weighs a run for president in 2024.
“BREAKING: Ron DeSantis wants female student athletes to submit menstrual information. THIS IS INSANE!,” wrote one Twitter user in a post.
“Ron DeSantis: The government has no right in telling federal employees to wear masks. Also Ron DeSantis: The government has every right to know when every single high school girl has her period,” wrote another Twitter user in a post that had been liked or shared more than 3,000 times as of Friday. “Ron DeSantis is the epitome of hypocrisy, and quite the creep!”
But the proposed mandate hasn’t had final approval, and wasn’t developed by DeSantis’ office."
Also from the AP- "The national guidelines say menstrual history is an “essential discussion for female athletes” because period abnormalities could be a sign of “low energy availability, pregnancy, or other gynecologic or medical conditions.”
“Menstrual dysfunction is 2-3 times more common in athletes than nonathletes, and 10-15% of female athletes have amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle) or oligomenorrhea (a decrease in number of menstrual cycles per year),” the guidelines read. “Amenorrhea occurs more frequently in players of sports that emphasize leanness, such as running, gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, and figure skating.”
The neutral source called Outsports concurs with the AP- "At least 44 states currently ask high school female athletes about their ‘menstrual period’.
Female athletes encounter questions about their periods. Some states request genital inspections, for males only."
It goes on to say that the only state that does not appear to ask such questions about menstrual periods was Oklahoma, which is oddly enough a right-leaning state politically speaking. "As some people have suggested the questions in Florida are transphobic or anti-woman, or that the information could be used against trans athletes, states that publicly offer forms with these menstrual-period questions include Connecticut and California, which have some of the most trans-inclusive high school sports policies in the nation. Many of the states asked similar or identical questions to one another, as their forms are derived from — or copies of — the pre-participation evaluation form suggested and written by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP has included these questions because medical providers who perform sports physicals recognize that they are important,” said Dr. Rebecca Carl from the Institute for Sports Medicine and an AAP representative. “It’s also important to note that we take the concerns about privacy seriously. The information is not designed to be shared with schools. That information is to document the information between the person performing the physical and the student-athlete and their family. The medical reason for these questions? Female athletes/athletes with uteri who are not having menstrual periods are at increased risk of stress fractures,” Carl said."
Here are the links to the sources cited above-
In conclusion, while DeSantis may very well be guilty of harboring animosity towards trans individuals or drag queens, he is not guilty of using State power to spy on young girls menstrual cycles as some had suggested he is, and similar questions are asked in most of the other states.