The argument made by many conservatives that the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine promotes sexual promiscuity or other risky sexual behavior in young women has been shot down, according to one study.
A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that young girls and women who were given the vaccine were more likely to "always" use condoms than girls who didn't.
The controversy surrounding the vaccine was magnified by Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who said the vaccine would cause "mental retardation" and promote promiscuity. She also blasted Texas Gov. Rick Perry for requiring sixth-grade girls in Texas to be vaccinated against HPV, a virus that causes genital warts and can lead to cancer of the cervix, vagina, anus and other areas of the body.
"It was clear that we needed to determine whether a relationship existed between being vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease and sexual behavior," said study leader Nicole C. Liddon, Ph.D.
Whilel this set of data shows no connection, researchers were careful not to draw too sharp a conclusion. "The study offers us some of the only data on how HPV vaccine affects behavior," Noel T. Brewer, director of Cervical Cancer-Free NC, a statewide initiative led by the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health, told Medical News Today. "At the same time, we stress this isn't a definitive answer as to whether or not a relationship exists. Further studies are needed to look at possible causality."
The study evaluated more than 4,000 women and found that 23 percent of females between the ages of 15 and 24 have received the shot.
The rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among our youths are startling. When it comes to our children, it's better to be safe than sorry. Besides, to even insinuate that using a vaccine will make girls more sexually promiscuous really insults the intelligence of girls and women around the world.