A COUNCIL has criticised media organisations for claiming they said “boys can have periods too” in a recent report.

Brighton and Hove City Council is working at tackling the stigma surrounding the menstrual cycle and have released guidelines as to how to go about encouraging children to feel comfortable with the topic.

Under their “key messages for learning about periods” in the report, the council said “trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods” in a bid to avoid upsetting pupils of different genders.

The national media have taken this to mean that councillors said males can have periods too.

But the council said the recent articles have misrepresented their work to tackle the stigma surrounding periods.

They said the guidance should be read in “a much wider context” and cannot be taken as a stand alone statement.

Other key messages for challenging the stigma include: “Language and learning about periods is inclusive of all genders, cultures, faiths and sexual orientations.

"For example; girls and women and others who have periods.”

They also said that bins for tampons and other period products should be provided in male and female school toilets.

Recent national statistics included in the report said one in ten girls in the UK have been unable to afford sanitary products during their menstruation.

And 49 per cent of girls have missed an entire day of school because of their period.

Research also shows there still remains a significant taboo and stigma surrounding periods.

Councillors have agreed to fight “period poverty” in a campaign to make sanitary products more accessible to everyone by providing funding for the local Red Box project which distributes free period products to schools.

A council spokesman said: “By encouraging effective education on menstruation and puberty we hope to reduce stigma and ensure no child or young person feels shame in asking for period products inside or outside of school if they need them.

“We believe that it’s important for all genders to be able to learn and talk about menstruation together.

“We recommend including boys in our lessons on periods and opportunities for girls to discuss issues in more detail if needed.

“Our approach recognises the fact that some people who have periods are trans or non-binary.”

The council recently released a “Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit” to help teachers treat gender identity sensitively.

It asks teachers to be respectful and inclusive of children who are questioning their gender, and tells them that purposefully not referring to children by their preferred pronoun or name can constitute harassment.

The toolkit also recommends schools adopt a non-gendered uniform so all children feel included.

You can read the advice in full here: