Polling company YouGov found nearly half (43 per cent) of girls said boys tease or joke about periods – with 40 per cent of this teasing taking place in lessons under the noses of teachers. The Independent reports.
It also found 91 per cent of girls worried about going to school while on their period and 35,000 girls are missing school because they are on their period – the equivalent to 2.1 million hours of education.
The Fear Going to School Less report found that 27 per cent of girls said embarrassment and shame-related factors were the reason behind them missing out on school.
The research – which saw more than 1,000 high school children surveyed – found period education for boys in schools is both failing to properly engage them or deliver the basic facts for many children and this is, in turn, is boosting stigma.
The report that was conducted with menstrual care brand Bodyform, found 94 per cent of boys admitted to not knowing a lot about periods.
Mollie, a 16-year-old from West Yorkshire, said she has witnessed bullying about periods in her school.
“There was this time boys managed to get hold of a used tampon – I don’t know how – but they were playing and throwing it around. It was quite gross,” she told The Independent. “I think they probably had an idea but I don’t think they fully understood where it had been. It would have been very embarrassing for girls to watch and might make them feel insecure.”
“I started at my period at age ten and I was only taught about them at 11 which was not very useful,” she said. “I was taught about periods in science lessons but it was not about periods as a whole. It is just the science of it. Nothing is taught about the products available to girls.”
“Not just boys in my class but men, in general, are ignorant about periods,” she said. “They do not know anything about them which is so silly because half of the world’s population have periods. We have been conditioned not to talk about periods and talk around the subject.”
The research found just 17 per cent of boys find broader lessons that touch on periods useful, while 42 per cent find them awkward and 38 per cent embarrassing. Across high schools in Britain, 85 per cent of boys do not talk to girls about periods, with 26 per cent not wanting to say the wrong thing to them.
“Our research found that there is a lack of period education for boys which is resulting in a generation of boys not knowing basic facts about periods and sometimes joking and teasing,” Traci Baxter, marketing manager at Bodyform, told The Independent.
Read the full article Almost half of British girls have witnessed bullying about periods, study finds
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or just someone who cares about education and has something to get off your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.
We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!