It Turns Out The HPV Vaccine Won’t Turn Your Daughter Into A Skankilicious Skank

HPV vaccine for girlsThose convinced that the HPV vaccine is their little girl’s induction into middle school orgies would do well to stop watching so much sensationalistic coverage of teenage sexuality. And maybe even consider a new independent study funded by Emory University and Kaiser Permanente. It would appear that a cancer prevention vaccine to tween girls does not always come with a detailed pamphlet on sex positions, “now achievable with Gardasil!”

The journal Pediatrics reports that despite concerns that the vaccine is an insta-incentive to get sexy, “there is no evidence to support these concerns.”

Researchers reviewed data of 1,398 11-year-old girls on the Kaiser Permanente health plan in Georgia between 2006 and 2007. This was in the year and a half following the availability of Gardasil. Nearly 500 of the girls in the study received the HPV vaccine and were then compared with 906 girls who did not. The young ladies in both groups were then followed for three years to discern whether they had been counseled about birth control, taken a pregnancy test, received any STD testing, or had been diagnosed with an STD.

Approximately 10% of the girls — in both groups — had participated in one of the aforementioned health practices. While the average age of any of these results was 14.5, less than one percent of the girls — of which there were eight — got pregnant or was diagnosed with an STD.

Dr. Robert Bednarczyk, the lead study author and a clinical investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research-Southeast in Atlanta, spells it out for you:

“Our study found a very similar rate of testing, diagnosis and counseling among girls who received the vaccine and girls who did not. We saw no increase in pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections or birth control counseling – all of which suggest the HPV vaccine does not have an impact on increased sexual activity.”

Dr. Robert Davis, co-author on the study, describes the findings as “reassuring news for teenagers, parents, and members of the public.”  He frames the issue back around the considerably less titillating “prevent[ing] these rare but sometimes deadly cancers.”

These Kaiser Permanente findings also echo the conclusion of another University College London study that found English girls to have no uptick in teenage sexcapades following Gardasil vaccinations. Medical News Today writes, the “sexual behavior of the vaccinated girls was no different from that of the unvaccinated ones.”

Guess we’ll have to come up with a better –nonslut-shamey — reason for leaving our daughters vulnerable to developing cancers rather than concern for their chastity belts.

(photo: Sergej Khakimullin/ Shutterstock)

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  • Eve Vawter

    This may be my favorite headline ever

  • alice

    Until there is a vaccine for stupid people, like the 25% of girls surveyed here, including their parents and PCPs: then this latest research won’t matter unfortunately.

    “ohhh, so an HPV shot WON’T stop me from getting pregnant? wait, what??”

  • bumbler

    I have hepatitis vaccine but you won’t find me lapping up body fluids left and right. Funny how people think one STD vaccine is all that stands between their virgin angel turning into the town harlot. Honestly, you don’t even have to tell your kid WHAT the vaccine is for, or better yet, approach it as an anti-cancer vaccine, rather than a STD vaccine.

  • K.

    So let me get this straight:

    There was a study done to prove that access to a cancer-preventing vaccine doesn’t increase sexual activity in teenage girls…And what would the response be if it DID increase sexual activity in teenage girls? Deny them the cancer-preventing vaccine??

    Yay, my tax dollars at work! Sigh.

  • sharon

    This vaccine does not prevent cancer. It prevents some strains of HPV. This vaccine probably won’t make your child promiscuous, but it may make her very, very sick.

  • Twyla

    re: “Guess we’ll have to come up with a better –nonslut-shamey — reason for leaving our daughters vulnerable to developing cancer…”
    OK, you can find some better reasons here:
    http://truthaboutgarda…An Interview with Dr. Diane M. Harper, HPV Expert http://www.huffingtonpos…chapter 19, A License to Kill?

  • Twyla

    My links are getting mushed together with the titles. Oh, well.

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