HPV Vaccine Does Not Promote Promiscuity (But It Does Stop Cancer)
The permission slips for the HPV vaccine just went out in my son's grade 7 class. It's not easy to look it over and think about your child having sex.
Because that is what the HPV vaccine does, it guards against a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cancer. And signing the form and having the discussion with your child means that you are tacitly acknowledging that sex is in their future. *shivers*
Since the vaccine has to do with sex, some parents seem to be refusing it because they think approving the shot may make their daughters more sexually active.
Luckily, a new study has come out to prove them wrong. Because obviously, a vaccine or knowledge of a vaccine or talking about sex or birth control will not make teenagers more likely to have sex.
The New York Times reports: "Looking at a sample of nearly 1,400 girls, the researchers found no evidence that those who were vaccinated beginning around age 11 went on to engage in more sexual activity than girls who were not vaccinated."
But this study, despite its obvious conclusions, was most likely done for reasons other than science.
The Times noted a Yale study which showed that parental concerns about sexual activity was the number one reason parents did not permit their kids to have the vaccine.
The researchers hope that their conclusions will be passed on to parents who may feel that the vaccine goes against their religious and/or moral values.
The no-kidding aspect of the study inspired at least two cynical headlines:
Jezebel says the New Study proves HPV Vaccine Doesn't Turn teens Into Whore Monsters and the Cut is equally cheeky, with their headline: Study: HPV Vaccine Doesn't Make Girls More Promiscuos: because that would be way worse than them getting cancer.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In Canada 75% of adults have had an HPV virus and one in 150 women will get cervical cancer. According to HPVinfo.ca, run by The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), the link between HPV and cervical cancer is stronger than the link between tobacco and lung cancer.
This video from Dr. Mike Evans covers a lot of the pros, cons and most up-to-date research on the vaccine. No matter where you stand, it is worth a watch. (I also recommend his 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health.)
He argues quite effectively for the vaccine, while noting people's concerns; as does my pediatrician. I can't imagine that it is a comfortable morning at school when the public health nurse comes. But my daughter will be in line. Will yours?
Do you think the HPV vaccine is a good idea? Will you let your daughter have the shot?
Want more chaos? Last year, I asked if women who chose to have kids on their own were crazy. (um, yes, but what parent isn't?)