Gender, Sexuality and The HPV Vaccine: Part 1

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5 Responses

  1. Patrick says:

    I hope this isn’t a spoiler alert! But yes, it was so much easier to push type 16 and 18 (They prevent cancer, happy face!) and just slip in 6 and 11 under the radar (They prevent warts???? Not sure how I feel about that.) So to really talk about a benefit to men, you have to bring up the genital warts aspect. (Although I’m sure that not raising a woman’s risk of cervical cancer would be a benefit to most guys, too.)

    I also find it amusing that those fears of girls receiving contraceptive counseling have been put to rest. I know, I get it, it’s America.

    • cllewellyn says:

      In addition to the genital warts aspect, studies are now finding that the vaccine may prevent oral and anal cancers caused by HPV. And I completely agree. It is in everyone’s interest to reduce rates of any cancer.

  2. Amy says:

    It seems to me that the assumption that vaccinating girls is *enough* only works if all girls get vaccinated. But if they don’t (and I assume, given the controversy about it and the more general opposition to vaccines among some Americans, that they won’t), then does the assumption still hold?

    • cllewellyn says:

      Yes, Amy, you are right. Most of the research has advocated vaccinating girls only, using the logic of “herd immunity” (vaccinate some to protect the whole). But this only works if all (or most) girls get vaccinated (unlikely, not only given the controversy, but also because of financial constraints and insurance issues). And even then, the strategy only works in the context of heterosexual intercourse.

  3. Lucy says:

    This sounds like the past and current arguments being made for mutilating the genitals of baby boys. Brian Morris calls removing the male foreskin a ‘vaccine’ against HPV and AIDS etc. Also, if we leave the penis intact they have experience increased sexual desire. As the public health argument goes, we can’t trust ‘young people’ to make the right decisions, even through educational programs. The legacy of Victorian Era morals are stronger than we think.

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