Good news! According to a new study, getting your teenage daughter vaccinated for HPV will not turn her into a slut.
For years, many parents have opted out of getting the HPV vaccine for their daughters for fear that it might cause their children to become more inclined to sexual activity. But that myth has been debunked thanks to a study published in the November issue of Pediatrics.
Researchers found that girls who receive the HPV vaccination are no more likely than their unvaccinated counterparts to participate in promiscuous activity.
The study spanned three years of records of girls who had received the vaccination and tracked markers of sexual activity like whether the girls sought advice on birth control, were tested for STDs or pregnancy, or became pregnant.
The conclusion: There is no statistical difference in the rates of those markers of unvaccinated girls and vaccinated girls. The researchers believe the results should comfort parents and encourage them to vaccinate their daughters.
Why? Because studies have also shown that HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement in 2006 recommending that girls between 11 and 12 years-old should be vaccinated.
There are currently two vaccines for HPV (Gardasil approved in 2006 and Cervarix, approved in 2009) that target the types of HPV that cause about 70% of cervical cancers. Gardasil also protects against two other types of HPV that cause about 90% of genital warts.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Family Physicians have all endorsed the recommendations and attest to the vaccine’s safety.
Has your daughter been vaccinated for HPV?
Consult your doctor to discuss the vaccine. For more information, visit the CDC’s resource page at http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/