Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Again - not fluff

I killed my Tuesday essay questions in part because I hated trying to come up with a new question, but more because few people answered them.

However, this headline looked interesting: Michigan bill proposes cancer vaccination.

The bill would require girls in Michigan who enter sixth grade to receive a cervical cancer vaccine, which was approved by the FDA last June. This vaccine provides some protection against the Human Papilloma Virus.

Proponents like this bill in part because it can help save lives by helping prevent cancer.
Opponents don't like the bill in part because they view it as encouraging underage sex - the message that underage sex is OK.

I'll weigh in on this on an answer of my own later on, but I wanted to know what you all thought about this? Good? Bad? Somewhere in between?


Cassie said...

I don't know that I knew what any of my vaccines were for. Why should we make a big deal out of what it's for? I can't imagine anyone saying "Ok now Jane, you have your HPV vaccine. Go for it!" It only prevents one disease, it doesn't prevent all of them. We need to make sure our kids understand this. Responsible parents will educate their kids. And the children of irresponsible parents could be saved by the vaccine. The argument against it is like saying we shouldn't treat any of the curable STD's because we're encouraging kids to go have more sex.! said...

I agree with Cassie. Vaccinate 'em! And really, if the wackos DON'T make a big deal out of it, the teens are less likely to know what they're getting & less likely to think it's a license to have sex. How many 12 year olds even know what HPV is? Very, very few.

I also suspect the fundies don't want this vaccine in wide use because then they can't say that condoms are ineffective because they can't always prevent the spread of HPV. Which, by the way, makes me so angry! Here's the thing - it's true that condoms aren't 100% effective, but they're the only way (if you're going to have sex) to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Now let's think about the mentality of teenagers (and many adults too, for that matter). No one really likes to use condoms, right? We just know we should. And teens REALLY don't like to use them. Add in the message that condoms "don't work" (because they're only 80-something% effective w/normal use). What do you think teens (and many adults) are going to think? Well, hell, I don't want to use it anyway & if it doesn't work, might as well go bareback. And then they have zero protection. It's one of the most dangerous messages out there, from a public health standpoint. I've also heard religious nutjobs and rightwing a-holes claim that the HIV virus can get through a condom. Not true, unless you're talking about lambskin, which may be where that myth comes from. Also? You can't get pregnant from a blowjob, but you can get an STD. Douching after sex doesn't work. Taking it up the butt to preserve your "virginity" can still give you an STD, in fact, it's even more risky than in the other hole. Wearing 2 condoms at once will most likely result in 2 broken condoms, not twice the protection. And only use water-based lubes. Yes, technically honey is safe to use with latex, but it might have some unpleasant after effects, at least for the female (and probably won't make the best lube). And contrary to popular belief, bananas are not the best condom demonstration fruits. Zuchinis are much better, but only the small ones. We don't want to give anyone false hope.

And thus concludes my sex ed talk for the day.

Bellejar said...

As Bruce's mom is dying of cervical cancer I am all for vaccination. I don't think vaccination will cause more promiscuity. Kids are kids no matter what you do.

Hannelie said...

Approved last June!! Crickey we are behind here. We have just been told about it and that it was developed by an Australian? Was that a lie? It's available here now for girls between 9-26 y.o. and will cost $350!! Out of pocket, no funding. I haven't taken my daughter yet, will have to save up or wait until it gets subsidised or something. And I agree with Cas, I don't think half of them will really know how or where or be interested to know. It's up to the parents to educate and tell them it's a prevention needle.
I am actually surprised myself now, I always thought it's like breast cancer, and because of your genes?
Very interesting post and comments Steve.