CA lawmakers to consider bill that requires menstrual education in sex ed curriculum

Amanda Aguilar Image
Friday, March 29, 2024
CA lawmakers to consider bill that requires menstrual education in sex ed curriculum
California lawmakers are considering a change to the California Healthy Youth Act, which focuses on sexual health and HIV prevention.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California lawmakers are considering a change to the California Healthy Youth Act, which focuses on sexual health and HIV prevention.

Assemblywoman Lori Wilson, who represents District 11, introduced Assembly Bill 2229, which proposes adding menstrual health education for middle and high school students.

Periods can be a taboo topic.

Action News asked two Valley teens about when they first learned about menstruation.

"I think fourth grade we started to see videos about it, but they didn't really go into much detail about how it actually was," recalled Clovis West junior Cadence Gabriel. "It was kind of just the basics."

"I learned about it pretty young, because I think my mom kind of struggled with issues around periods," shared Gianna Ruth, a Clovis West junior.

California has no required school curriculum about menstruation, which can leave some young people with questions.

"I actually was only able to identify the reason for my missing period two years later -- when I went to the doctor's office for a running injury," said Sriya Srinivasan, with Advocates for Youth. "That experience definitely highlighted, to me, the lack of access to menstrual education."

Srinivasan is a sophomore at Early College High School in the Bay Area. She and dozens of her peers started advocating for comprehensive menstrual education -- which led Assemblymember Wilson to make an amendment to the California Healthy Youth Act.

It proposes sexual health education to include age-appropriate information about the menstrual cycle, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pain management, menstrual irregularities, and the stigma that surrounds periods.

Ruth and Gabriel are excited to see a bill -- developed for and by students -- make its way to California lawmakers.

"I think it'd be really good because a lot of girls don't know about the things that aren't normal with periods," said Gabriel.

Ruth added: "I just feel like it's good to know about your body, and for the males to just know what girls are going through."

The first hearing of AB 2229 is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3.

For news updates, follow Amanda Aguilar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.