HPV can be a bothersome thing. Affecting over half of all adults at some point in their life, the human papillomavirus can cause inflammation and even warts on the hands, feet, face genitals. But HPV can be more than a bothersome women’s health problem; some high-risk strands of the virus family can cause potentially deadly cervical cancer.
The HPV vaccine works to protect girls against these dangerous strands of HPV, and yet only about half of American teenage girls receive even one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC.
Reasons why parents are resisting the vaccine vary from lack of information, to concerns about the safety of vaccine, to concerns about the cost. But perhaps the biggest underlying reason is that parents worry that by giving their child the HPV vaccine, they’re also giving their child permission to have sex. And maybe if she thinks she is safe to have sex, she’ll engage risky, promiscuous sex.
But a wide-reaching study on the matter by the Canadian Medical Association found that there was no significant increase in risky sexual behaviors between teenage girls who had received the HPV vaccine beginning in the 8th grade and those who did not.
The study followed over 128,000 Canadian girls and tracked them over a period of four years. The authors of the study conclude that their evidence is strong and that the results “suggest that concerns over increased promiscuity following HPV vaccination are unwarranted and should not deter from vaccinating at a young age.”
The CDC currently recommends that the three series vaccine begin for girls at age 12, before sexual activity begins. Girls can receive the vaccination at their annual physical or at their first gynecological checkup. We invite you to learn more about HPV and its vaccine…