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The Science Is Settled: Boys Do Not Have Menstrual Cycles

A female high school student in Vermont uses the boy’s bathroom because she claims she is a boy. She has periods. She is female.


Over at The New York TimesAnemona Hartocollis has written an article that in saner days may have gotten her barred from subsequent journalism beats. Taking a look at yet another transgender bathroom debate, this one at a Vermont high school, Hartocollis writes about a student who, while in sixth grade, “realized he was meant to be a boy.” As Hartocollis tells it:

There were practical issues. When he had his period, he wondered if he should revert to the girls’ bathroom, because there was no place to throw away his used tampons. But he had started feeling like an intruder in the girls’ bathroom, and the single bathrooms were so far out of the way it was hard to get to class on time.

So he stuck with the boys’ bathroom.

“When he had his period.”

Hartocollis is simply following the conventions of the Associated Press Stylebook, which, regarding the transgender phenomenon, instructs reporters to “use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.” But this does not make Hartocollis’s indulgence of this young woman’s misbelief any more defensible or any less reckless. At some point one has to draw the line between reality and delusion. Usually the line is drawn around the point where one starts pretending that a boy can have a uterus.

Here is the crux of the matter: boys do not menstruate. They do not have periods. They cannot have periods, because menstrual cycles are solely a function of females. Even if a young woman “lives publicly” as a boy, this does not change the fact that she is a young woman. The phrase “when he had his period” is thus logically nonsensical and functionally meaningless. It is a scientific mistake when written accidentally, and it is a scientific and moral travesty when written deliberately, as Hatrocollis and countless others do every day.

The transgender movement is fond of saying “Biology is not destiny.” This is, after a fashion, true. But it is nevertheless the case that biology is fact, and an inescapable one at that. One of those facts is this: boys and men do not have menstrual cycles. Only girls and women do.

As my colleague Hans Fiene points out this week, nobody in fact believes this young woman is a boy. Hartocollis does not believe it, The New York Times does not believe it, even the career crusaders of the LGBT movement do not seem to believe it. Precisely one person in this Vermont bathroom debacle truly believes this young woman was “meant to be a boy”—the young woman herself.

She needs help, in other words. Yet she has been grossly betrayed by a culture that, rather than guide her back towards reality, has decided to indulge in her heartbreaking fantasy out of a shameful sense of political correctness. Shame on those who have encouraged these delusions at the expense of the health and well-being of vulnerable, confused young people. And shame on the journalists who treat these delusions as if they were fact.