Monday, March 05, 2007

Mari Jean on HPV

Mari over at STLWorkingMom gives her thoughts on the HPV vaccine bill.

I pretty much agree with her. What strikes me about those opposed to the vaccine for fear that it will allow their kids to have sex is that, from what I've understand about it, the types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer may be spread by means other than sex. It's pretty hard to confirm that though. HPV can lie dormant for long periods of time, even years, without showing symptoms. As a result doctors will usually assume any past partner was the cause of it and proper research to counter this is hard to come by. What I wonder about is how easily it could or couldn't be spread through clothed gental rubbing or exposure to mutually used surfaces. Gym anyone? Wrestling? Ballet?

Then there is simply the real world, which high morals often overlook. You never know what you will give into until you are tempted. Naive people are often the most likely to be seduced, with their flowery ideas of soulmates that can lead to emotional dependence. There's always the fact that simply saying you are not going to have sex till you are married will not stop someone from raping you. High morals really seem to ignore how common date rape is.

To me, the moral thing to do is protect your kids when and where you can. You can do your best to teach them right and wrong and all the gray lines between, but few ever make it through their teens without slipping up somewhere. I've seen more than one intelligent moral person end up a mother or father before they planned to, so forgive me if I'm a pessimist towards the willpower of youths.

Looking at what is understood about HPV, I'm having trouble opposing a proven safe vaccine from becoming mandatory, but like Mari Jean I'm wondering where the buck will stop for people that can't afford it.


Anonymous Marijean said...

That's it. I'm pulling the girl out of ballet.

I'm kidding of course. Good, thoughtful post, Cory. We don't only not know enough about HPV but what prevents it and what the vaccine will do.

And don't forget rape, cheating partners and irresponsibility are not only the problems of the young; it's the older, married and less likely candidates who will be the least eligible for shots, subsidized or otherwise.

5:40 PM  

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