Here's something that should elicit a resounding duh from women nationwide: A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found zero proof that getting vaccinated against HPV encourages girls and young women to have unsafe sex. Study authors followed about 300 girls who were between ages 13 and 21 when they received the first of the three-shot HPV vaccine. (It's FDA-approved for boys and girls starting at age 11.) After six months, participants' attitudes about sex hadn't changed, nor had their sexual behavior.
These results echo those of a similar study released last month, which detected no differences in sexual attitudes or behavior among teen girls who had received the shot and those who did not. Unfortunately, though, many women never receive the second or third shots required for the vaccine; study authors suspect the low rate may have to do with parents discouraging their daughters from getting the vaccine because they wrongly think it will boost risky behavior.