Everybody’s talking about Gardasil — the idea that vaccinating girls and women against the Human Papillomavirus might encourage them to be slutty. I’d like to point out, simply, that Motrin doesn’t encourage people to have migraines, that antibiotics don’t encourage people to get urinary tract infections (or syphilis, for that matter), and more directly, that Jonas Salk wasn’t hoping people could finally eat more shit when he created a vaccine for polio, just as Edward Jenner wasn’t looking for a revolution against covering our mouths when we cough when he developed a vaccine against smallpox.
For fuck’s sake people; get some perspective. Is there really nothing better you can think to use your political energy on? Isn’t A Cure For Cancer the Holy Grail of pharmaceutical research? If this were a vaccination that prevented testicular cancer, do you think people would try to suppress it for fear it would lead to more masturbation? Actually, yeah. America is so puritanically repressed that’s probably exactly what would happen.
You know what? “Slut” isn’t the opposite of “abstinence,” and not just because one is a personal slur aimed at a woman and the other is allegedly a way of life. The state of living life as a person who has had sex is so much more complex than such a juvenile, binary system can represent. Maybe it’s time to stop treating the citizens of America like they’re too stupid to understand anything except Good versus Bad. Sorry: Good versus Evil.
Don’t you remember the stages of moral development and the test: If a man steals drugs to save his wife’s life, should he go to jail?” Once a child reaches about 7 years old, they begin to see that it’s a complicated question. I remember learning in High School that most press in America is written at the 7th grade level. Have we gotten stupider? Has someone decided that we can’t even be treated as, like, super-mature 12-year-old middle schoolers? Were NKOTB really so advanced? …Because when I was 12 they were the hottest thing around. Have we regressed to being six-year-olds? Hey! Let’s hear it for Teletubbies!
If we know so little about sex that we must be treated like six-year-olds, maybe the cure is education.
It’s God’s job to judge, if you believe in that sort of thing, and it’s our job to love our neighbors. We don’t have to have sex with our neighbors, but neither do we have to stand with our noses at their windows being offended if they bake their pies with a different recipe.
See also here for a short blog entry, here for an evaluation of the study which led to the FDA’s approval, here for Gardasil’s own page off Merck.com (similar to the “Gardasil” link above), and here, believe it or not, for wikipedia’s entry on Gardasil. See here, here or here for pie recipes.