A study released a month ago shows that the human papilloma virus or HPV vaccine used to protect against cervical cancer does not lead to girls being more promiscuous. The study compares medical records for vaccinated and unvaccinated girls, looking at "markers" of sexual activity such as whether girls had sought birth control advice; tests for sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy; or had become pregnant. No difference in rates of those markers were found between those vaccinated compared with those who were not. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer and has also been linked with anal and oral cancers in women and men. Three doses of HPV vaccine shots are recommended for girls and boys at age 11 or 12, before they have had sex. Opponents of the vaccine claim it would promote promiscuity among youth and threaten chastity. In fact, the Calgary Catholic School District has decided against offering the vaccine to its students, and only just opened up the decision for discussion with parents. I for one am fairly relieved that there's something that can actually help prevent cancer given that everything seems carcinogenic these days. And I do plan to have my child vaccinated when she's old enough (though my husband may have her bubble complete by then). I'm not worried at all that it'll encourage her to have sex earlier. I'm hoping I'll have put enough sense in her head by then that she doesn't mistake a needle for a license to have sex. What do you think? Does the HPV vaccine encourage sex among adolescents? Have you or would you have your child vaccinated? Should school boards be allowed to make such decisions on behalf of parents?