I never really wanted this to become a place for my political rants. Generally I find other people's political rants quite dull and unpersuasive.
Of course, mine aren't dull and are always right, but I still don't want to burden what few readers I have with politics or religion.
BUT... (you knew that was coming)
Today came word that drug maker Merck is suspending its campaign to make its HPV vaccine mandatory for American kids. Among the reasons is a backlash from parents who say requiring the vaccine takes away their right to teach their children about sex.
Here's how the flow chart works:
Vaccine stops forms of HPV... HPV can cause cervical cancer... HPV can be transmitted by unprotected sex.
Here's how the puritans see the flow chart:
Vaccine = unprotected sex.
I don't know where to begin here.
Once anything is in anyway linked to sex, the conservative, head-in-the-sanders are against it.
Their logic? Well, there is no logic.
Maybe it's their belief that giving preteens this vaccine sends the message that unprotected sex is ok.
It doesn't, that argument is stupid.
If you teach your kids that they're too young for sex or that they must always use protection, getting this anti-cancer vaccine isn't going to ruin your lessons.
Perhaps they think their daughters aren't going to have sex until they're married, and then only with a husband who has never had sex.
Parents will be lucky if their kids don't have sex. You have to double that luck in order to have an abstinent daughter marry and abstinent son.
But what about those abstinence covenants? Great idea, but there are two problems with them. The first is that they don't always work. The second is that the kids who make virginity promises are less likely to use condoms (or any birth control) when they break the promises and have sex. These are the kids who need the vaccines the most.
Maybe some parents think their daughters should be older. Maybe, but the vaccine is more effective if given before the girls are sexually active.
I fear that with this thinking, there's no point in coming up with an AIDS vaccine. No one will let their kids have it. (Oh, by the way, the HPV vaccine has shown that it may prevent anal cancer among gay men, but there's no way anyone is going to give it to a 12-year-old boy)
There is a segment of our country that hears "blah blah blah sex blah blah blah" and immediately starts yelling "NO NO NO," without thinking through the consequences, without looking at the big picture.
They scare me.