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(New York Times) HPV Vaccine Doesn’t Alter Sexual Behavior, Study Finds


Coni Butler, an accountant in Austin, Tex., and a devout Catholic, encourages her three children to remain celibate before marriage. But that did not stop her from getting them vaccinated against human papillomavirus, or HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that raises the risk of some cancers.

Ms. Butler had her son and two daughters vaccinated between ages 12 and 15. She was not deterred by widespread concerns that the vaccine might encourage promiscuity.

“We talk about remaining chaste until they get married, but there’s always the possibility that one bad choice could lead to devastating consequences,” she said. “I tell my friends that you pray for the best, but you plan for the worst.”

Since public health officials began recommending in 2006 that young women be routinely vaccinated against HPV, many parents have hesitated over fears that doing so might give their children license to have sex. But research published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics may help ease those fears.

Looking at a sample of nearly 1,400 girls, the researchers found no evidence that those who were vaccinated beginning around age 11 went on to engage in more sexual activity than girls who were not vaccinated.


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