Obvious News of the Day: HPV Vaccine Won’t Turn You Into a Harlot
A new study confirms that girls and women who are vaccinated against HPV aren’t going to indiscriminately hop into bed with the next available sex buddy. There’s been a lot of concerns about vaccinating girls as young as 11 and 12. Not because of potential health risks, but because some feel that HPV vaccinations are akin to issuing out licenses to have random, casual sex.
The idea behind the early vaccination age is to protect boys and girls before they become sexual active, but many women are vaccinated at different times in their lives. I got information about the vaccine in my mid-twenties after I had already been sexually active for many years. According to my doctor, women who are newly single or concerned about their general health may also decide to get vaccinated as a safety measure. The vaccine protects against cervical cancer, genital warts and less common cancers.
The number of HPV vaccinations, which usually comes in the form of Gardasil or Ceravix injections, are still low despite the research: “nearly a third of children 14 to 19 years old are infected with HPV.”
The low rate of vaccinations has been linked to parental concerns that girls and young women will increase their sexual activity if they are less fearful about contracting STIs. (Note that vaccinations are also recommended for adolescent males.) This actually isn’t the case.
Parents can breathe a sign of relief, and purity ring enthusiasts may have less to complain about. The study tracked 1,400 girls who received the vaccine in 2006. The three-year follow-up dispelled these “promiscuity” concerns. It found that the rates of pregnancy, testing and diagnosis for STIs among these vaccinated girls weren’t “statistically significant” from girls who were not vaccinated.
Talking about sex to your parents or health professionals is awkward enough, but it’s irksome when this type of vaccination that prevents cancer is ignored because of these ill-founded concerns. Despite what many may fear: teen girls and young women won’t turn into harlots overnight.