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HPV Vaccine Doesn't Increase Risky Sexual Behavior: Study

Despite critics' fears, a new study suggests the HPV vaccine might not encourage sexual activity in girls.

HPV Vaccine Doesn't Increase Risky Sexual Behavior: Study
Wikimedia Commons / Jan Christian

Despite critics' fears, a new study suggests the HPV vaccine might not encourage sexual activity in girls. 

"Researchers examined young girls' beliefs about the vaccine and how it impacted sexual behavior." (Via WTTG)

The vaccine protects against 70 percent of cervical cancers, as well as some cancers of the mouth and throat. Doctors recommend three doses. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Jan Christian)

But since it was first introduced, some parents have expressed concerns it would give girls a false sense of security about sexual activity — and the CDC says only one-third of girls end up getting all three doses. (Via WXIN)

And medical professionals have blamed parental fear on that, and the fact more girls haven't begun vaccinations. (Via Mayo Clinic)

So what researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center did was talk to hundreds of girls and women — aged 13 to 21 — who had gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. And study author Dr. Jessica Kahn found no connection between the shot and riskier behavior. 

Most who were already sexually active before the vaccine reported continuing to use condoms during intercourse months after being vaccinated. 

And of those who were sexually inexperienced before starting the vaccine, less than 20 percent became sexually active within six months. The researchers characterized their findings as "not finding anything concerning." You can find the study online in the journal Pediatrics