Texas has recently become the first state mandating that all 11 or 12 year old girls attending public schools receive the HPV vaccine. That would mean that they would get it when they were entering the sixth grade.
Considering that Texas has one of the highest rates of high school students who have had sex, requiring the HPV vaccine at an early age may be a good thing. According to the CDC 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, fifty-two percent of Texas high school students reported that they have had sex versus a national median of forty-four percent of high school students in the rest of the United States.
So what do we do? Do we spare those who may contract it the hospital bills, and their lives? Yes. Some conservatives are against this vaccination and would do anything to see that it is not required, using the flimsy claim that it will promote sexual promiscuity. They claim that if the vaccine is required, young women will base their abstinence choices on the fact that they will be protected from this one STD. It has also been suggested that the state's mandating of an STD-preventing drug would trample parental rights, depending on what the parents taught their children about sex and abstinence. Many parents are planning on refusing the vaccination requirement, stating that there is no need to vaccinate someone against something that can be one hundred percent avoided by abstinence.
Kevin Ault, a professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University relates, "Seat belts do not cause reckless driving, tetanus shots do not cause children to seek out rusty nails, and Hepatitis B vaccines have not altered sexual practices or increased injection-drug abuse in any population." Studies have also shown no increased sexual activity after condom restrictions were relaxed a few years ago. Also as about eighty percent of American women have never heard of the human papilloma virus, there is little to no chance that teenaged girls wh View More »