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November 1, 2005 10:20 PM   Subscribe

Newsfilter: Several pharmaceutical companies are developing vaccines against strains of the human papilloma virus that cause cervical cancer. Some folks think these shots should be required for all kids entering puberty. Others are afraid that teens given the vaccination would view it as a free pass for premarital sex.
posted by brundlefly (77 comments total)

 
Giving kids tetanus shots tacitly condones the practice of stepping on rusty nails.
posted by hattifattener at 10:39 PM on November 1, 2005


If you start removing all of the potential consequences of premarital sex, *gasp!* then how will we be able to scare kids to stay pure until marriage?

(just wrote a report on abstinence ed, still very bitter)
posted by hopeless romantique at 10:40 PM on November 1, 2005


What is the teltale sign that a kid has reached puberty now?

In my time, the girls had to convince their mothers to take them to the mall to get their ears pierced, and the guys would have their parents walk in while they were masturbating.

After that, I think you officially hit puberty.
posted by Balisong at 10:44 PM on November 1, 2005


Excellent title used on this post.
Anyone opposed to this for the aforementioned reasons should be shot.
posted by nightchrome at 10:46 PM on November 1, 2005


It strikes me that if everyone simply got the shot as part of the standard battery of immunizations, there would be no sexual "message" attached to it. Why wait until puberty?

Besides which, I strongly doubt that many teens have any idea what HPV is, much less make their decisions to have sex based on whether they might get it or not.
posted by deanc at 10:47 PM on November 1, 2005


I don't even know where to begin with this. Are they suggesting a statistically significant correlation between promiscuous sexuality and receiving a vaccine for HPV? Based on the assumption that HPV is a large preventer of kids having sex?

I can name at least a dozen other STDs I'd rather not get that would prevent me from having premarital sex than HPV. Sure getting cancer is bad and this kind of cancer is hard to detect but it is indeed treatable. The same cannot be said with HIV.

Even if I was a female who believed so strongly in remaining a virgin until marriage, it would be foolish, negligent even to believe that my husband was not also a virgin. Unfortunately I see no strong argument from the other side, all I see is STD vaccine relates to sex and sex is bad so let's band the STD vaccine. God what is this 1842?
posted by geoff. at 10:53 PM on November 1, 2005


Besides which, I strongly doubt that many teens have any idea what HPV is, much less make their decisions to have sex based on whether they might get it or not.

That's exactly what I was thinking... cervical cancer a result of premarital sex? Excuse me? I must have missed that memo. I had a hell of a lot of reasons for not shagging thrown at me when I was in high school (not that long ago) but cervical cancer was not one of them.

Hands up any teens around here who have decided to remain abstinent out of fear of the Big C?
posted by Jimbob at 10:53 PM on November 1, 2005


Damn teenagers. They should suffer terribly and die in later years for their youthful indiscretions.

Sure, we could have easily prevented their tragic early deaths with a $5 shot, but then they might misbehave.
posted by Malor at 11:03 PM on November 1, 2005


Stop them from getting something that can get them very sick. Take the action that has a direct & known consequence.

Or we can do the reverse.

Lets stop selling alcohol, tobacco, guns, sciccors, or anything that can possibly cause harm. If it is there, they will use it.

No condoms because we know that when you stop giving those out, all the kids stick to heavy petting.

Let us stop all work on HIV & all other STD medications. If the kids think that in some time in the future they will get cured, then they might have sex.

Let us just show them films from the Fiftees when there was no such thing as teenage sex.

And if I had a daughter, and I raised her well, but in the rush of hormones one night, or she is coinvinced that her 18 year old boyfriend will be there forever, she does the deed, well to hell with her because she deserved it.
posted by notcostello at 11:16 PM on November 1, 2005


"We're going to be sending a message to a lot of kids that you just take this shot and you can be as sexually promiscuous as you want and it's not going to be a problem," he said. "That's just not true."

So how's about making it a point to not send that message to kids by telling them exactly which diseases they can still catch after getting this vaccine. The only way kids are going to think that this prevents all STDs is if you don't tell them anything when you give them this vaccine.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:18 PM on November 1, 2005


Tetanus shots are a free pass to stop washing your house.
posted by skallas at 11:24 PM on November 1, 2005


Another take on the same subject: In essence, people arguing against this shot want to impose the death penalty for premarital sex.
posted by Malor at 11:32 PM on November 1, 2005


Another take on the same subject: In essence, people arguing against this shot want to impose the death penalty for premarital sex.

Yes. They are. But they don't find this weird because it's exactly what God demands.

Deuteronomy 22:21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.
posted by Jimbob at 11:40 PM on November 1, 2005


As I understand it, this vacine is 100% effective only if given before the woman becomes sexually active.

So, my wife can't benefit from it.

But my children can.

Why is there any debate at all?
"I'd like to save your child from a horrible disease that may cause CANCER and DEATH.",
"Okay, but please wait until she's 18."
"?!?"
posted by Jerub at 11:59 PM on November 1, 2005


Holy crap I hate people.
posted by flaterik at 12:04 AM on November 2, 2005


Banning sex has never worked. Fuckin idiots.
posted by lunkfish at 12:20 AM on November 2, 2005


Hell, let's just do away with medicine altogether. Heart bypass surgery tacitly condones gluttony! Liver surgery tacitly condones alcoholism! Appendectomies tacitly condone, uh, subverting the will of God!
posted by trigonometry at 12:22 AM on November 2, 2005


Nail clippers condone something so terrible, I dare not speak it!
posted by b1tr0t at 12:27 AM on November 2, 2005


yes, because HPV is the only deterrent to premarital sex.
posted by shmegegge at 12:29 AM on November 2, 2005


Maybe if we prayed harder people will stop having sex.
posted by Dean Keaton at 12:46 AM on November 2, 2005


As one of my Xian friends points out:

It seems to me it is not an issue of whether or not conservative Christians believe the vaccine is a good discovery and is a greatly beneficial drug. They want to retain say so in who mandates when or whether the drug is given. I don't think it is a bad thing for parents to be the ones to decide when their daughters (or sons) get this vaccine.

Which is at least an irresponsible stance if not out right dishonest.

Conservative religious opponents of the HPV vaccine as a mandatory inoculation are less concerned about parental choice and more concerned about being squeamish around their children.

This same argument crops up in sex ed debates all the time.

Interestingly I watched the broadcast of Rx for Survival, A Global Health Challenge tonight on PBS. The show pointed out that one of the major challenges aid workers face in vaccinating children against polio is that some Muslims in India and elsewhere won't allow their children to be inoculated for various, superstitious based beliefs.

Nice to see that American Conservative Christians and third-world Muslims can agree on somethings at least.
posted by wfrgms at 1:16 AM on November 2, 2005


OK, reality check time.

Religious organizations, here's the deal. Cancer is bad. If you prefer cancer to your politics taking a hit, then you have lost your way and no longer represent good. It's that simple. Politics v. dead girls -- if you choose dead girls, you are going to hell, because even your Jesus wouldn't be caught, dead or risen, with you.

Remember how you felt, when you heard about those girls who were burned alive by the Saudi religious police because they weren't suitably dressed to leave a burning building? Yeah. We're looking at you, just like that, right now. Worse, since you're talking about killing thousands and thousands and thousands of girls every year, not to mention defunding the very vaccine research that may lead to more cures for cancer.

But if you do want to play politics, have you considered maybe "pro-cancer" causes problems for your "pro-life" plank? You know, just a little?

This is maybe the most angry post I've ever made here. How dare you!
posted by effugas at 1:59 AM on November 2, 2005


I have no problem with letting parents decide whether their children get inoculations. Of course if their children subsequently die as a result of not getting it then their parents should be charged with some sort of deliberate negligence causing death.

additional, they should also be liable for HPV transmission to others by their children.

That is the cool thing about responsibility. It cuts both ways.
posted by srboisvert at 2:02 AM on November 2, 2005


Nice to see that American Conservative Christians and third-world Muslims can agree on somethings at least.

Well, they agree on a lot of things, really.

On preview:
That is the cool thing about responsibility. It cuts both ways.
A-fucking-men.
posted by brundlefly at 2:07 AM on November 2, 2005


I'm wondering why this story is suddenly all over the place again. I heard it on NPR, Pharyngula, here... I remember blogging on this back in April - and I'm not even well-informed. Anybody else remember this story?
posted by blendor at 2:15 AM on November 2, 2005


As I understand it, this vacine is 100% effective only if given before the woman becomes sexually active.

Are you sure? I would have thought any time before contracting the virus(es - the vaccine covers more than one) would do the trick. Does anyone have anything else on this?
posted by biffa at 2:38 AM on November 2, 2005


blendor: Don't know. This was the first I had heard of it. Maybe the companies are a lot closer to a marketable drug now, and the Focus On the Family folks' panties are even more bunched up than then?

These people latch on to specific issues when it makes for a good story for them. Maybe they were too busy dry-humping Terri Shaivo's grave at that point to make a bigger deal about preventing HPV, and how that makes the Baby Jesus cry.
posted by brundlefly at 2:39 AM on November 2, 2005


Wait for the first cancer patient to sue the government for withholding medication that would have saved them from dying prematurely! If they won the case, the flood gates would be open for a HUGE class action. When will the Christian fundamentalists realise that people fcuk? That's how we all got here?

As a side issue, doesn't this argument (and I do use that term loosely) also discriminate against young lesbians?
posted by DrDoberman at 3:56 AM on November 2, 2005


It makes about as much sense as outlawing medical treatments on the basis that it encourages people to think that prayer cannot heal people.
posted by clevershark at 4:13 AM on November 2, 2005


Dr. Hal Wallis: "I do think that we need to be selectively offering this to patients who are at high risk for HPV infections,"

So how do you determine "at high risk"?

Doc: Hey kiddo, you shaggin' around yet?
Kiddo: Like... Yea... Duh...
Doc: Come here have a shot, will ya.
posted by psychomedia at 4:22 AM on November 2, 2005


Honestly, I don't think anyone should be forced to be innoculated, but anyone who doesn't give their kid this vaccine is a demonstrably bad person.

I'M A PRO-CANCER CHRISTIAN AND I VOTE! YEE-HA!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:36 AM on November 2, 2005


Well until they come up with a shot for throat cancer all those teens praticing oral sex are putting themselves at risk!
posted by furtive at 5:05 AM on November 2, 2005


these people are only pro-life when they can make a public demonstration of it in front of their peers, dealing with dramatic cases

as jesus said, they already have their reward
posted by pyramid termite at 5:07 AM on November 2, 2005


The nutbags at Fuckus In The Family who came up with this idiocy are the ones who run things in Washington DC.

They were all orgasmic on Monday when ScAlito got the nomination. It meant they would finally get the bloody fight they have craved for years.

These folks care nothing for humanity or human lives or suffering, only about the power derived from being the current batch of Pharisees. May they all suffer from debilatating STDs.
posted by nofundy at 6:07 AM on November 2, 2005


Studies have indicated that 4-out-of-5 sexually active teen girls are infected with the virus.

And someone's opposed to vaccination? Doesn't 4/5ths qualify as "epidemic?"

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't HPV one of those things that most people have but rarely manifest symptoms, much the same way that anyone who's had chickenpox may or may not develop shingles later.

On a related note:
Why is it that every time I hear about what the religious right is up to, I get a nosebleed?

posted by Jon-o at 6:54 AM on November 2, 2005


It's wierd sometimes browsing around - I've seen folks arguing against the usual spectrum of shots for kids because they MIGHT cause autism, despite the studies that say they don't. I've seen arguments against them because they're not necessary, and the folks arguing the point use as an example the virtually negligible rate of diseases like diptheria, polio, whooping cough, measles, mumps and the like to make the point that such things are no longer necessary. Why? Because our improved sanitation practices have supposedly made it impossible to catch the various childhood diseases and SOME kids who aren't immunized haven't caught them. (The concept of herd immunity is apparently beyond them.)

When I was growing up, about all they had was the diptheria and whooping cough vaccine. I remember when the polio vaccine came out (they were giving it out on sugar cubes - I snuck through the line and got a second one) but I caught measles, mumps, chicken pox and rubella... and there's idiots who actually have chicken pox parties for their kids - thinks it makes their immune systems stronger. (I think they just love the stink of calamine lotion, myself.)

My kid's gotten all the vaccinations available, short of yellow fever, typhoid and cholera. If they come out with something that'll immunize against ghonnorea and syphilis and chlamidia (sorry for any misspellings there) I'll get him those also. (Which makes you wonder, just WHY a vaccine against those hasn't come around? They're bacterial instead of viral, so it shouldn't be that difficult.)

Public health is more important than the tender feelings of the anti-vaccination/religious community. And that ought to be made plain asap.
posted by JB71 at 6:58 AM on November 2, 2005


Since this discussion is weighted so very heavily for administering the vaccine, I'm trying very hard to come up with a good reason not to vaccinate.

Still trying.

Still trying.

Really the only reason I can think of is if I believed my children were my chattel, to do with as I will.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:04 AM on November 2, 2005


Since this discussion is weighted so very heavily for administering the vaccine, I'm trying very hard to come up with a good reason not to vaccinate.

Because a vaccine could encourage the virus to mutate into something more dangerous and difficult to stop?

Yeah, that's just me really stretching to come up with something even remotely devil's-advocatish. The coldest, most evil part of me wants to say, "So they want their kids to die of some awful disease? Fine, let 'em croak. I ain't paying for the funeral."
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:15 AM on November 2, 2005


JB71, I agree with you. I think the anti-vaccination crowd has come about as a result of doctors/the government not being very forthcoming about the fact that even good, necessary vaccines have side effects, and less than open to parents' concerns about the possible side effects of administering several very powerful drugs all in one shot. (I'm leaving the autism thing out of the debate, although that's obviously had a lot to do with parental hysteria as well).

People my age and older received only a few shots in one go; now it seems every year they add one more vaccination to the same shot (chickenpox vaccine is fairly new), which is very efficient and all but something that does make one wonder about interactions and overloading tiny immune systems. Yet just try to get a doctor to split them up for you, or even discuss the matter. You discover pretty quickly that saving money seems to be more important than taking precautions for a lot of doctors and the pharmaceutical companies in general.

I do think it's pretty dangerous to rely on herd immunity, and plan to get my kid immunized, but I'm also going to look for a pediatrician who respects my concerns and doesn't treat me like a backwards moron for even asking questions about the process.

Unfortunately, idiots who oppose vaccines because they might encourage Teh Sex aren't helping win over doctor sympathies in this area much...
posted by emjaybee at 7:22 AM on November 2, 2005


I can't wait until they finally develop an AIDS vaccine and these idiots start up with "You're not going to give this to the FAGS, are you?"
posted by JeffK at 7:31 AM on November 2, 2005


Can't we just cut off their genitals? That'll stop 'em!
posted by NationalKato at 7:34 AM on November 2, 2005


Sickening. It's amazing to me how every day seems to make these types of crazies less and less Christian.
posted by agregoli at 7:37 AM on November 2, 2005


I wonder just how wide spread that idea is (giving the vaccine is bad)? They could have found one wacko to make the piece more interesting.
posted by edgeways at 7:38 AM on November 2, 2005


As a physician I really couldn't give two shits about the folks who aren't willing to take advantage of a service that may save their life. There are too many people that want that service to waste time with the ones who don't or who would rather bloviate about the morality behind it. Care for the people that want what you can do for them and let the others reap the results of their own constructs.

The tragic part, of course, is that these people are making decisions for their kids. But those consequences have never not been an issue, whether it's MMR, birth control, smoking in the car, etc.
posted by docpops at 7:39 AM on November 2, 2005


ACS statistics for cervical and uterine cancer deaths, 2005, is 10,300 in the US. Which doesn't include the costs, morbidity, and complications of treatment.
posted by docpops at 7:44 AM on November 2, 2005


I would guess that a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe is a Gulag. Maybe it isn't. Maybe with the Americans in charge it is a lovely place to stay.

Though you are right, America comes off looking like a piece of shit country whether you call the covert prisons gulags or not.
posted by chunking express at 7:50 AM on November 2, 2005


Damn it! Wrong thread.
posted by chunking express at 7:52 AM on November 2, 2005


When I heard about the HPV vaccine, I immediately knew it would be fought by religious conservatives. The way they think, if you want your daughter to have it, then you must believe she's going to be a dirty dirty whore, of course!

For this reason, the only sane plan is to make it mandatory for everyone before puberty, boys and girls. Simply call it the anti-cervical cancer vaccine and there will be no controversy.

And that focus-on-the-family article - WTF?!

"I do think that we need to be selectively offering this to patients who are at high risk for HPV infections," he said, "but I'm not sure that we are at a point where we can justify universal applications."

Who exactly qualifies for such a status?
posted by cjdavis at 7:53 AM on November 2, 2005


Here is what I'd say to these folks:

Even if your daughter/son is as pure as the driven snow, and likely to remain that way until a happily monogamous marriage, do you really trust their spouses to have had the same standards?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:57 AM on November 2, 2005


Since this discussion is weighted so very heavily for administering the vaccine, I'm trying very hard to come up with a good reason not to vaccinate.

Let me at least give it a shot, particularly as a member of a rather conservative religious tradition.

If, at the onset of puberty, we're going to start vaccinating kids for HPV with much fanfare, announcing, "we're giving you this shot so that you don't get HPV when you have sex," then this is clearly going to undermine the pro-abstinence messages that parents are trying to give their kids. Furthermore, parents may perceive a public initiative to innoculate their kids as sending a subtle "counter-message" undermining their authority-- eg, "We know what your parents tell you, but you know and I know that it's not going to happen." [probably true, too]

Counterexample: even at the age of 24, I had no idea that the Hepatitus B vaccine required for me to return to graduate school was for a disease spread primarily through sex and IV drug use. I can't say that the immunization I received then caused me to change my behavior ("well, BEFORE, I was worried about HepB, which is why I didn't try heroin, but NOW....!").

I think we might want to take the "long view" on HPV immunization-- some colleges can make the vaccine mandatory for their incoming students with whatever "mixed messages" and discomfort on the part of conservative parents that entails. Meanwhile, make the vaccine standard for infants, and the discomfort over the sex-related aspect of the vaccine never comes up. Another solution-- start playing up the rare and unlikely possibility of contracting HPV from non-sexual contact: claim that sharing a towel in a high school locker room presents a risk of spreading the virus and play down the STD-aspect of it.
posted by deanc at 7:57 AM on November 2, 2005


and there's idiots who actually have chicken pox parties for their kids - thinks it makes their immune systems stronger.

No, they think the pox is much more dangerous if they get infected as adults then as children. Which is correct.

If they come out with something that'll immunize against ghonnorea and syphilis and chlamidia (sorry for any misspellings there) I'll get him those also. (Which makes you wonder, just WHY a vaccine against those hasn't come around? They're bacterial instead of viral, so it shouldn't be that difficult.)

Because if they're bacterial, they can be cured with antibiotics. You don't need a vaccine. I'm not even sure it's possible to vaccinate against a bacteria, since most vaccines are actually made from viral matter.
posted by delmoi at 8:01 AM on November 2, 2005


You know, vaccinations can cause side-effects. The smallpox vaccination can be quite lethal, but better then getting smallpox. No body gets small pox vaccinations now (especially since the virus only exists in bio-weapons labs these days)

So, there may be some downsides to this vaccine. It might be worse if given to infants, so I think giving the vaccine at puberty would be a better idea then giving it to people as infants.
posted by delmoi at 8:08 AM on November 2, 2005


Besides which, I strongly doubt that many teens have any idea what HPV is, much less make their decisions to have sex based on whether they might get it or not.

I read elsewhere on the net that HPV is a big part of the current abstinence scare programs because it won't be stopped by a condom -- even if you use all the rubbers in the world while you sin against Christ and Country, little girls, YOU WILL STILL CATCH CANCER IN YOUR NO-NO!! because Captain American Jesus will see you.

I don't think it is a bad thing for parents to be the ones to decide when their daughters (or sons) get this vaccine.

I do, because many of them will make the wrong decision, and some of their children will sicken and/or die as a result.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:16 AM on November 2, 2005


deanc: If, at the onset of puberty, we're going to start vaccinating kids for HPV with much fanfare, announcing, "we're giving you this shot so that you don't get HPV when you have sex," then this is clearly going to undermine the pro-abstinence messages that parents are trying to give their kids.

I guess one of the key differences between abstinence as part of an abstenence-only program, and abstinence as part of a comprhensive sex education program (and yes, all sex ed programs I know about teach abstenence) is that the abstenence-only group is rather like the Maginot Line of sexual ethics. IF a person practices abstinence and then monogamy, IF a person's spouse has always maintained the same standard, IF the young woman in question has never been a target of sexual violence, all is good. If not, well, too bad.

We should teach safer sex for the same reason that we teach everyone to wear their safety belts while driving. Even if you do everything right as a driver, you can't control the behavior of everyone else on the road. Even if you do everything right in terms of practicing monogamy, you can't control the behavior of your spouse, co-workers, or strangers.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:17 AM on November 2, 2005


I was raised in christian science in which I was given no medical attention whatsoever, proving to me at least that parents aren't necessarily the last word in responsible healthcare for their children. It's not so many years since such baroque notions had credibility in the eyes of the law because weak-willed politicians didn't want to appear to be stepping on freedom of religion, irregardless of the fact that children were being seriously harmed. To essentially repeat the same mistake in regard to HPV would again be confusing mythology with pathology.
posted by gallois at 8:53 AM on November 2, 2005


Let me just add that I was trying to defend the anti-vaccine faction as an intellectual exercise. While I can understand how the parents feel ("What kind of people do you think we are?" they might exclaim-- although it's unfair, STDs of any kind are associated with promiscuity), given the prevalence of HPV in the general population -- and the fact that most strains do not leave visual clues to infection and thus can't be tested for in men -- means that, as a public health measure, mandatory vaccination as soon as the vaccine becomes available is probably the best bet. I wonder if the doctor who stated that the vaccine should be offered to those "who are at high risk for HPV infections" was, in a subtle way, trying to say that this is everybody who might at some point have any form of sexual contact in the future. Part of the problem with controlling HPV is that the effects of it are so benign and the consequences of infection so far down the road, that no one is willing to take precautions to prevent it.

By contrast, HepB is not very common, can be easily tested for (thus its spread can be checked), and hard to transmit. Mandatory vaccinations there might not be particularly cost-effective outside of "high risk" groups... and yet many of us still have to get immunized for it.
posted by deanc at 9:01 AM on November 2, 2005


You know, with my reading lately I am getting more and more the sense that the Christian righties have this mythologized view of what the world should be like, especially with regard to sex and relationships. It's as though they have blinders on - they are so focused on how they *want* things to be, they can't see the way things *are* (which, this being the real world, is actually kinda fucked up a lot of the time). In spite of all the evidence, they somehow think that if they have enough faith, enough piety, pray hard enough, and trust in Jesus, that this will keep their child's sexuality pure and protect them from all diseases. Because Jesus loves them and their children and wouldn't allow anything bad to happen, right?

It must take truly massive quantities of suspension of disbelief to maintain this type of worldview on a day-to-day basis. The more rational of us just face the world as it is and try to make the best of it, rather than folding our hands and wishing real hard that bad stuff won't happen to us.
posted by beth at 9:10 AM on November 2, 2005


this will keep their child's sexuality pure and protect them from all diseases

Christianity does keep your child's sexuality pure -- by making them such a socially clueless dork that no one will want to be seen with them in public, let alone have sex with them.

Worked for my parents.
posted by kindall at 9:30 AM on November 2, 2005


by making them such a socially clueless dork that no one will want to be seen with them in public

Do you mean homeschooling?
posted by Jon-o at 9:35 AM on November 2, 2005


Beth, thank you for using the term 'Christian righties'. All too often, all of us Christians get painted by the same brush here on MeFi. Most Christians have a much more moderate view of life.

But I agree with you 100% about some Christians. Some people are afraid of change, and they use their beliefs as a mental/emotional denial system.

Ironically, Jesus told his followers to go out among the least desirable in society and minister to their needs, not hide in your own little insulated world, as some Christians are wont to do.
posted by tippiedog at 9:43 AM on November 2, 2005


what if some kid gets raped? ... doesn't she deserve vaccination

by making them such a socially clueless dork that no one will want to be seen with them in public, let alone have sex with them.

Worked for my parents.


kindall, i don't mean to argue, but it obviously failed, at least once ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:12 AM on November 2, 2005


Can someone explain to me why these right wingers and fundies are so damn hung up on sex?
And not just conventional intercourse but every deviation including dogs and mules too it seems.
Is there a GoOPer in DC or a fundy leader in the US that doesn't have a dysfunctional view towards sex?
Is William Bennett truly their moral compass with his secretive millions of gambling debts and dominatrix hooker?
posted by nofundy at 10:32 AM on November 2, 2005


I read the FOtF article, and I decided I wasn't satisfied with it. The article seems to be trying to say something without really saying it. I decided to contact them for clarification. Here's the question I posed:
I just read the article from your web site about the Centers for Disease Control considering a recommendation for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine for 12 year old children.

I found this article at:
http://www.family.org/cforum/news/a0038221.cfm

I don't understand this article. It quotes a Doctor who states that this vaccine should only be administered to 'high risk' patients. However, earlier in the article the author notes that 4 out of 5 sexually active teens are already infected. It appears that the doctor believes that it would be unethical to prevent their slow, painful deaths from cervical cancer by giving them this vaccine, since it would encourage them to have sex.

Is the purpose of the article to point out that the doctor is absolutely wrong in his understanding of the ethics of administering the vaccine universally?
Who knows, maybe the answer is yes.
posted by mullingitover at 10:39 AM on November 2, 2005


and there's idiots who actually have chicken pox parties for their kids

What is idiotic about that? Far better for your kid to get the pox at age six than at age sixteen. AFAIK, the older you are when you get it, the worse the potential consequences, ie. sterility.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:09 AM on November 2, 2005


What if there were a vaccine which, if given early enough, would prevent the recipient becoming an anti-sexual, anti-science religionist?
posted by jam_pony at 11:39 AM on November 2, 2005


On a tangent, polio is still alive and well, right here in the good old USA.
posted by cass at 12:25 PM on November 2, 2005


I'm a pretty darned conservative Christian, and I don't know a single person who would refuse to immunize their children against any disease for which there was a cure. This particular cure has actually come up in discussion with some of my friends--I heard about it a few months ago--so I'm not speaking purely theoretically.

It's my opinion, totally and completely unsubstantiated by any factual research ('cause you know how we religious folks love to make arguments without facts!), that edgeways is right: that this is an extremely, ridiculously small number of people making this argument. Which, if I'm right, makes it extremely, ridiculously silly for you people to be mocking all Christians/religious people for holding the opinion.

Also, on a purely rhetorical note (and I'll point out again that I've already said that if I had children and this immunization was available I'd be getting them immunized for this along with everything else): if you have sexual intercourse with more than one person, you are at risk for getting various diseases. True? Why should I pay for cures for diseases that you brought upon yourself? As srboisvert mentioned: responsibility cuts both ways. You make the choice to have sex, you reap the rewards in pleasure, potential pain, and alliteration.

However, sometimes things happen that we aren't directly responsible for: rape/abuse, accidental infection (via dirty towels, or toilet seats, or whatever the culprit is), or genetics. Because these things can happen, immunization where possible is absolutely necessary. I also believe that if someone dies as a result of their choice to have sex, they don't have any chance to make a better choice in the future. They're also, well, dead, which is always sad, no matter who it is--human beings are amazing creatures no matter who they are, and I'd rather have more of them alive then less.

I should point out that I'm also one of those apparently extremely rare (although not rare in my experience) religious people who believe that information is essential to making correct choices. Tell the kids about condoms, the pill, and other forms of birth control as well as abstinence. It's most likely better to do it at home, but I don't mind schools teaching the kids, since I hope to have a strong enough relationship with my kids that they'll come home and say, "Hey pops, I learned this in school today. This is what I think. What do you think?" I believe that beliefs are much stronger when made while aware of all options, instead of when only one option is presented. And this is not just a personal belief, this is a fundamental tenet of my religious system.

KirkJobSluder: "Even if your daughter/son is as pure as the driven snow, and likely to remain that way until a happily monogamous marriage, do you really trust their spouses to have had the same standards?"

Yes, I would expect my children to find someone who shared similar values. It's called getting to know the person you plan to marry.
posted by Fontbone at 12:37 PM on November 2, 2005


It's my opinion, totally and completely unsubstantiated by any factual research ('cause you know how we religious folks love to make arguments without facts!), that edgeways is right: that this is an extremely, ridiculously small number of people making this argument. Which, if I'm right, makes it extremely, ridiculously silly for you people to be mocking all Christians/religious people for holding the opinion.

I don't think anyone here is mocking all Christians/religious people. Just the politically conservative fundies who think that anyone who disagrees with them is going to burn... BURN!

You obviously are pretty rational (in most ways... I won't get into a theological debate with you). Focus On the Family, on the other hand, is not. If it's a distinct minority, then it's a minority with a a disproportionate amount of clout and money.
posted by brundlefly at 12:49 PM on November 2, 2005


if you have sexual intercourse with more than one person, you are at risk for getting various diseases. True?

I'm presuming you mean STDs here. Actually, you can get an STD from having intercourse (or close sexual contact) from only a single person, even if that person is your spouse and they are loving and kind and trustworthy and make assurances that they're a virgin.

People lie. Even nice people lie. If the choice is lie vs. send the woman of your dreams off into the arms of someone else, what do you think the average man is going to do?

And yes, women lie too. It's a human thing.
posted by beth at 12:53 PM on November 2, 2005


beth: "It must take truly massive quantities of suspension of disbelief to maintain this type of worldview on a day-to-day basis."

Yes indeed, beth. If it weren't for these people claiming to be Christians, which gives them a kind of "religious sanctuary," we would call them "mentally ill" or perhaps "dangerously insane."

No offense intended to the large majority of Christians who do not act in this way. I think people like these calling themselves Christians should be pretty offensive to Christians; it offends me even though I'm not (I've actually read the New Testament in great depth and Jesus is all right with me).

Fontbone, though you stated your position as pro-information and that this vaccine is a good thing, I'd like to respond to your last sentence by pointing out that someone who shares similar values now may not have always shared them; a disproportionate number of the wild rocker party girls from my past have become Born Again Christian Conservatives after over-the-top promiscuous teens and twenties.

And of course, ultimately no-one has control over what their children choose to do and believe, no matter how they teach them during their upbringing. It's possible (although I'd never wish such a thing on you) that children may reject the teachings of their parents and parents's religion, and follow some other path.

Knowing these things, vaccinating is really the correct course, as you and I agree.
posted by zoogleplex at 1:14 PM on November 2, 2005


by making them such a socially clueless dork that no one will want to be seen with them in public

Do you mean homeschooling?

No, I mean things like "don't swear." Not swearing will make you an outcast pretty quickly in pretty much any schoolyard. Of course, as a committed Christian you're supposed to honor your father and mother, and they told you not to swear, so you're obligated to keep not swearing no matter how much shit you get for it, or else burn in hell for eternity.
posted by kindall at 3:06 PM on November 2, 2005


All that is necessary for evil to win is for good people to do nothing.

If it is such that a very small portion of the religious community is fighting a cure for cancer for purely political reasons, and everyone else thinks (as I do) that preventing cancer is a great, Nobel prize worthy achievement -- it's time to stand up. Catholic Church, I'm looking at you, Southern Baptists. Yo, Methodists? How 'bout those Megachurches? How 'bout you get on your Megaphone and make it rather clear, yeah, we're not a big fan of cancer, please go cure it and ignore anyone who tells you otherwise?

See, here's the deal. When the politicians decide whether to fund this, they're going to be thinking -- well, what does the religious bloc want? If the answer is, the only people that care want dead (or sterile -- grandkids are overrated, I guess?) daughters, don't think you're escaping blame.
posted by effugas at 3:28 PM on November 2, 2005


Zoogleplex: Fontbone, though you stated your position as pro-information and that this vaccine is a good thing, I'd like to respond to your last sentence by pointing out that someone who shares similar values now may not have always shared them; a disproportionate number of the wild rocker party girls from my past have become Born Again Christian Conservatives after over-the-top promiscuous teens and twenties.

Of course! That's why I said the bit about wanting people to be able to stay alive to make better choices (as I see 'em) in the future. I think honesty is also of high importance to a relationship, so if one person hasn't been abstinent 'til that point, then they'd probably want to tell the other person, for consideration of possible health concerns if no other reason. And yes, I know people lie, but part of getting to know the person you're going to spend your life with is learning whether they're an honest person, and thus knowing whether you can trust them.

And of course, ultimately no-one has control over what their children choose to do and believe, no matter how they teach them during their upbringing. It's possible (although I'd never wish such a thing on you) that children may reject the teachings of their parents and parents's religion, and follow some other path.

Yup. Kids are people too, with their own choices and decisions to make. But until the point where they're mature and intelligent enough to make their own decisions, it's the parents' responsibility to do everything they can to educate 'em and keep 'em safe. Like, say, by getting 'em immunized against stuff that might hurt 'em.
posted by Fontbone at 3:54 PM on November 2, 2005


Fontbone: Also, on a purely rhetorical note (and I'll point out again that I've already said that if I had children and this immunization was available I'd be getting them immunized for this along with everything else): if you have sexual intercourse with more than one person, you are at risk for getting various diseases.

If you have sexual intercourse period, you are at risk for getting various diseases. As we see with some HIV demographics, monogamy is of marginal benefit if you can't depend on your partner's monogamy.

Yes, I would expect my children to find someone who shared similar values. It's called getting to know the person you plan to marry.

I don't see it as similar values, unless you want to insist that people seeking Secondary Virginity have the same values as sex-positive experimenters. As zoogleplex pointed out, one of the more progressive aspects of Christianity is that it celebrates the lying, thieving, promiscuous, bad-mouthed drunkards who make an honest change in their life.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:54 PM on November 2, 2005


Oops, should be, "unless you want to insist that people with Secondary Virginity have different values as sex-positive experimenters."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:00 PM on November 2, 2005


makes you wonder what they will say when we get the HIV vaccine...
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 4:30 PM on November 2, 2005


HepB is not very common

hard to transmit

these are very false statements about hepatitis B. millions and millions of people die every year from hepatitis B plus its transmission is far more efficient than HIV. just sayin...
posted by brandz at 6:54 PM on November 2, 2005


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