No, the HPV vaccine does not cause promiscuity

Dec 22, 2014

By Scott Gavura

Today’s post isn’t about the flu vaccine, but that vaccine played a part in bringing you today’s topic. It seems that this year’s vaccine is a mediocre match for the circulating strains of influenza, and I was one of the unlucky ones in whom it didn’t appear to provide much protection. After spending several days effectively bedridden, I still feel like I’m emerging from a cognitive fog. So today’s post will be short. In the midst of my own infection, the results of a new study were announced that examined the effects of HPV vaccination on indicators of sexual behaviour in adolescent girls. I admit to being a bit dumbfounded by the topic when I heard it, and I initially thought I had heard the research question incorrectly. After all, the answer seemed (to me) so clearly self-evident, I questioned if this was an ineffective use of research dollars. This question seemed as pertinent as continuing to study the relationship between vaccines and autism: there is little reason to think there would be any causal relationship. But surveys of parents show this is a real concern for some. And now we have an answer grounded in real-world evidence.

The HPV vaccine is an effective means of preventing cancer. Let’s pause to reflect on the sentence I just wrote. We can prevent cancer, before it starts, with a vaccine. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually-transmitted infection in North America, and almost all cervical cancer is caused by HPV. HPV causes a substantial number of cancer cases every year (26,000 per year in the US). As an anti-cancer strategy, vaccination is a pretty sensible one. HPV is not the only sexually-transmitted infection that can be prevented by vaccine. Hepatitis A and B are also sexually transmitted, and can be prevented with vaccines. However, immunization rates for HPV have lagged those of HBV and HAV, and anecdotally I haven’t seen a parental backlash against the hepatitis vaccines like I’ve seen against Gardasil and Cervarix, the two brands of HPV vaccine. Here are some uptake statistics for the Province of Ontario, where you can see the difference between hepatitis B and HPV:
Immunization_Coverage_exemptions_2013_Page_26 (2)

I’m not going to spend time in this post reviewing the efficacy of the vaccine – that’s been blogged about before, and the CDC has excellent resources. And the safety of the vaccine has also been well established, in girls as well as boys. Despite what you may read on Natural News, Mercola or see in your Facebook feed, the HPV vaccine is effective and it lacks serious side effects. It is well tolerated and it works. Gardasil provides protection against four strains of the virus and Cervarix protects against the two strains that cause the most cases of cervical cancer.

The first vaccine, Gardasil was launched in 2006 and since that time has come to be offered by many public health agencies worldwide. In Ontario, where I happen to live, the program to vaccinate all girls started with the 2007 grade 8 cohort. The vaccine is offered in schools. Regrettably, the appropriateness of the vaccine was initially an issue with the publicly-funded Ontario Catholic School system but it’s now my understanding that the vaccine is being made routinely available to all grade 8 girls in Ontario. There are still substantial opt-out numbers, as you can see.


Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

13 comments on “No, the HPV vaccine does not cause promiscuity

  • But surveys of parents show this is a real concern for some. And now we have an answer grounded in real-world evidence.

    The HPV vaccine is an effective means of preventing cancer. Let’s pause to reflect on the sentence I just wrote. We can prevent cancer, before it starts, with a vaccine. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually-transmitted infection in North America, and almost all cervical cancer is caused by HPV. HPV causes a substantial number of cancer cases every year (26,000 per year in the US).

    Ah! But faith-thinking brains go into spasm when asked to think rationally about sex! – Especially when it is associated with those “devilish” scientists, intervening to prevent the wrath of gods on those enjoying sex! – and affecting women too!!



    Report abuse

  • I would like to wring the necks of people who work to INCREASE rates of STD/HIV etc because they hope it will scare people into avoiding sex altogether. The are EAGER to sacrifice lives to this end.

    They remind me of Yakov and Aglaya in Anton Checkhov’s The Murder who murdered cousin Matvey for putting oil on his potatoes during Lent.



    Report abuse

  • Premium Bill Vander Zalm in BC and Ronald Reagan in the USA both totally blocked education about HIV for many years. The result was thousands of needless deaths. I presume that was the intention. Maybe they just wanted to kill gays. Perhaps the felt doing nothing would solve the AIDS problem by killing off all potential victims. Both were devout Christians.

    In the USA eventually surgeon general Koop refused to be complicit. Both were successful. Nearly all my gay friends are now dead.



    Report abuse

  • because they hope it will scare people into avoiding sex altogether.

    There’s around 560 million years of evolution hard wired into our brains that demands we have sex. The urge is urgent and strong. It is going to happen. Joseph jumped Mary before they were married producing an illegitimate Jesus. God has no place in the bedroom. Your kids are going to have sex. Protect them. Save your god for adults only time.



    Report abuse

  • 5
    Miserablegit says:

    Sadly the faith based morons will always insist sex is a subject that must always be kept hidden away, which is how ignorance and disease thrives.



    Report abuse

  • This is one good article and it’s about one damn good study. I must say I had the same reaction when I read what the study was about but, after learning that there still is some considerable bigotry at work on the subject matter, I am glad the study was done -and with a solid population base! That’s not so common: kudos- and it turned out the way it did -the way it was expected: no correlation whatsoever.

    Religion fuelled sexuophobia is, to me, one of the biggest damages done by the three sisters of the monotheism: it will be never too soon when humankind will grow out of it. Even because the brunt of this kind of religious violence is invariably born by women -in ways that go way beyond sexuality: it affects the extent to which women are alllowed to access education and, in general, their freedom of choice and selfdetermination. And a society that oppresses women is not only unjust, it’s crippled and dysfunctional.



    Report abuse

  • Meanwhile as fundamentalist religiosity gets back to basics!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30573385

    An IS pamphlet instructs fighters about sexual activity with female captives

    The document appears to be genuine. It was posted on an jihadist web forum and, apparently, given out after Friday prayers in Mosul.

    Christians, Jews and Yazidi women can all be taken as slaves, it says. Women can be bought, sold, and given as gifts; they can be disposed of as property if a fighter dies.

    The pamphlet’s Q&A format includes the following:

    Question: Is it allowed to have intercourse with a female captive immediately after taking possession of her? Answer: If she is a virgin, her master can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession. But if she is not, you must make sure she is not pregnant.

    Question: Is it allowed to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty? Answer: You may have intercourse with a female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse. However, if she is not fit for intercourse, it is enough to enjoy her without.

    It is a depraved and depressing document, at odds with mainstream Islam, though well-researched with Koranic verses and hadiths, or reports of what the Prophet Muhammad said or approved.

    One theory is that the pamphlet was actually issued to try to restrain the more outlandish behaviour of IS fighters. It says, for instance that a man may not sleep with his wife’s slave, or with another man’s slave; and that a man may own two sisters but not sleep with them at the same time.



    Report abuse

  • Maybe they just wanted to kill gays.

    Your comment brings back memories of the early 80’s weird and wonderful disco culture here in Boston, US. Mostly to me it was a time of freedom and decadence, but then I remember the AIDS disaster that overtook the gay community and how baffled we were about what was happening and what it all meant.

    One of the guys from our high school group dropped out of sight in those years. He used to go with me and my straight female friends to discos and dance the night away. I asked one of these friends, “Where’s Greg these days? Why isn’t he going out anymore?” She replied that he was sick and had moved home so his mom could take care of him. The next time I asked about him (expecting to hear that he was back on the scene) he was dead. Some years later, my friend and I put two and two together and we realized that our friend from high school must have been gay, and must have died from AIDS.

    There are a few guys from my graduating class that I now know must have been gay but had no way to be out with that at all. This seems tragic to me after all these years and I wish I could go back in time and be a better, more supportive friend to them.

    When I tell my 20-something kids, nieces and nephews about how oppressed gays were in decades past, they can hardly figure it out. Not only gays, but women suffered from an extreme virgin/whore dichotomy that forced us to maintain a facade of puritanical sexual purity while leading a double life behind the scenes, and devoting much energy toward not getting caught at what we were doing. I have very little contact with the gay community, but I would say that the women of my generation can claim a common bond with gays in that we felt a terrible stigma in those times attached to all of us who didn’t fit into that narrow definition of what was considered “normal”, sexually.

    Did the puritanical powers that be want to kill gays? I never heard that said in such a direct way, but personally, I don’t doubt it. I certainly did hear plenty of comments said that blamed gay guys for their own AIDS deaths for being disgusting promiscuous perverts. Just the fact that nobody every spoke openly about my friend dying of AIDS is representative of the mindset in those days. They swept it under the rug because it was too upsetting to the puritanical, sex-negative culture of that time to think about and verbalize the reality of the situation. AIDS was called the “gay plague” and that pretty much sums up the attitudes that I’m talking about.

    How can we ever measure the damage that the religion based puritanical forces of oppression have done to people over all of these centuries, in all of the societies where they hold people in an iron grip? I am despondent just to think of this question. And even in this present day, there are parents who would deny their adolescent offspring the benefits that this HPV vaccine offers them. What control freaks these people are. Their own minds are completely under the influence of a substantial indoctrination and they intend to make others suffer for feelings and behaviors that are hardwired within us.

    What sanctimonious cruelty it is to think that gays deserve to die because they follow their sexual desires, or that women should suffer in painful childbirth and be forced to give birth to every child they conceive as a punishment for their own sexual desire and now I’m sure we’ll hear about women who suffer cervical cancer (their own fault) because they didn’t get the HPV vaccination. The past decades have seen some very hard fought battles between gay rights activists and feminists who are fighting against these puritanical, control freaks. They are cultural heroes.



    Report abuse

  • 10
    Lorenzo says:

    They are cultural heroes.

    Very much so.

    There’s still work to do, though, I think… what’s been won and earned because of those battles still needs care and determination to be made permanent in the western society. And there’s a whole lot of world that still needs to break free from religion driven sexual and gender oppression.

    I wish to thank you for your comment, which reminded us that what we have now is something for which many people have fought, a lot and hard, and not some random niceness that came around. It’s not banal to give the past battles the right amount of consideration, for those who didn’t see for themselves how was it like before.



    Report abuse

  • Yet today we still deal with the religious extremists in the US imposing their religious ideology on employees and pushing it in the public schools. They continue to push their homophobic views on credulous followers and impressionable children… there is still much work to do! We must keep working, keep educating, and keep voting!



    Report abuse

  • Wait…girls can have punishment-free sex? The horror! Everyone knows God made those STDs to keep the sluts in line, just like pregnancy. These vaccinations just go to show the evil of science by allowing girls (and boys!) to contravene God’s holy and just punishment for premarital sex!!

    Seriously, this is exactly the religious thinking on the subject. Since vaccines and disease prevention in general are not mentioned in the Bible, the only objection they can come up with is the “it’ll make sex worry-free!” bullshit. Especially if it makes sex less risky for girls.



    Report abuse

  • How could a mother not give her daughter the vaccine. Another form of child abuse that goes along with religious belief, especially when the child is female.



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.