HPV Vaccine Doesn't Make Good Girls Go Bad

Amazing we still have to have these types of discussions in the 21st century but, contrary to what some science deniers and Bible thumpers would have you believe, girls who get the HPV vaccination to protect against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, the cause of 70% of cervical cancer, do not turn slutty because of it.

As reported in the LA Times, there was a study — a sober, clinical response to the notional premise afoot in segments of American politics and culture that the vaccine, which can give young girls a lifetime’s protection from cervical cancer, loosens their morals. (Funny you don’t hear from people worried that the vaccine will make boys promiscuous. Why is that, I wonder?)

Emory University in Atlanta researchers, whose work was published in the journal Pediatrics, tracked the sexual behavior data of nearly 1,400 young girls, some of whom had been started on the vaccine and some of whom hadn’t, and found no difference in their sexual activity.

Reporter Patt Morrison reminds us facts never get in the way of fantasy. We will hear this notion again.

We still hear it about condoms and morning-after pills.

This attitude has been around for thousands of years, and resurfaced about 150 years ago. Queen Victoria gave birth to the last two of her nine children painlessly, thanks to what she called “that blessed chloroform.”

Some of her more puritanical subjects did not agree. They quoted Genesis — “in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children” — to “prove” that God intended for women to suffer in childbirth to atone for Eve’s original sin and that painless delivery was against God’s will. To this day, some religious groups believe painkillers for childbirth are “demonic and reprehensible.”

The same idea has been floated about treatment for venereal diseases, and for free condoms, and sex education: Knowing that premarital sex might not necessarily kill you or get you pregnant makes you immoral.

Really? For thousands of years, not a single human teenager ever thought about sex inappropriately, because they were mercifully free of those all those notions put in their head by sex education classes and free condoms?

Onetime GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum held rather the same sentiments. He says he doesn’t believe in birth control, that it’s “harmful” to society in general and women in particular, and, on an evangelical blog, said contraception was “not OK because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Remember that it was one of Santorum’s major donors, the wonderfully named Foster Friess, who suggested that the real contraceptive wasn’t the birth control pill but a Bayer aspirin held firmly between a girl’s knees.

(Quoted from Patt Morrison’s LA Times Article)

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With political activists as parents, Stephanie learned gender politics at an early age and embraced stiletto feminism in high school. As a marketing professional, she’s written for a variety of publications. She founded www.scandalouswomen.com to be a voice for the sex-positive alpha female.