Teen girls ages 15 to 19 who are vaccinated against HPV are not more likely to be sexually active, according to a survey in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Another positive finding is that sexually active girls who were vaccinated against HPV were also more likely to consistently use a condom than sexually active girls who were not. This data is directly counter to overreactive screeches from conservatives who claim that vaccinating teen girls will encourage them to have sex earlier. Hopefully this will shut them up for awhile (although I’m sure Rep. Michele Bachmann is eagerly awaiting a study to prove the HPV vaccine made a woman’s child mentally retarded as proof she’s not talking total BS). One might infer from this data that teenagers who have been exposed to the idea of protecting themselves against STDs — and, for younger teens, presumably have a parent or guardian’s support in keeping them protected — continue to make responsible sexual decisions. Who’d have thunk? [New York Times]
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