Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Late Breaking Rant!

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.

Dream on.

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.

6 comments:

C$ said...

I feel the *same* way as you in regards to this whole HPV vaccine. I just don't get their argument...

Why do parents need to tell kids why they are getting a shot? My parents never told me why I was getting the Hep C vaccine before college, just that I was doing it. No questions asked and I rolled up my sleeve. Can't these parents just tell their daughters: "honey, this vaccine will prevent you from getting cervical cancer " and that's it? Why does the STD/HPV comment have to come into play?

And what girl, raised by conservatives, that gets the vaccine is going to think, "gee now I won't get HPV so I'm going to go buck wild. Who cares that I was taught to that premarital sex is bad, I’m gonna bone as many guys as I can!" No, that doesn't happen. Teenagers decide for themselves, for the most part, if and when they are going to have sex. I can't imagine any teenager thinking this vaccine would give them a free pass to have unprotected sex. Simply put, those girls who are going to have unsafe sex are going to have unsafe sex regardless of the HPV vaccine that prevents only ONE STD.

I don't get it at all.

What if they find a vaccine for mono, aka the "kissing disease" (even though it's transmitted through just about everything else too)? Are conservatives going to ban that because mono vaccine= encouraging kissing=bad? NO, that logic makes no sense at all. EH

Jurgen Nation said...

"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 my prevent anal cancer among gay men, but there's no way anyone is going to give it to a 12-year-old boy)"

NICELY stated. Bravo. I'm in complete agreement with you and I cannot understand the logic patterns (rather, lack thereof) of some people and as a female agnostic taxpayer, this bothers me on so many, many levels. And I totally agree with c$ up there who wrote "Why do parents need to tell kids why they are getting a shot." I was never told. And I certainly am not buying the whole "we need to be honest with them" routine AT ALL because what parent actually says, "Actually, Timmy, this is going to hurt like a sonofabitch." Parents lie because it's easier sometimes. I don't know why everyone is acting all brand new about this.

John said...

Thank you both. I had never thought about whether you tell kids or not, but you're right. I remember getting the tuberculosis tests as a little kid, I had no idea what TB was and I didn't care. It was just something that the doctor did. And he did lie w3hen he said "this won't hurt a bit."

Lisa said...

These are the same stupid people who don't want their kids taught about birth control because it means they'll immediately run out and have sex. And they AREN'T teaching their kids about sex. They make me so angry.

And I bet it would be a different story if it were a shot for men rather than women.

John said...

like i wrote a few weeks ago. when i'm president of the world i will require condoms and education for all... because too many of the world's parents are doing a crappy job.

Anonymous said...

There was another article I read about the HPV Vaccine and I think everyone should be givin the shot. You don't gave to tell them what the shot is exactly. If they are 11 and getting the shot you can simply say your getting another vaccine this one is for HPV. Done and Done. No quetions asked. and if they do just don't mention sex......