Sunday, April 17, 2005

Do You Think This Way?

The human papilloma virus (HPV) causes cervical cancer. Happily, vaccines against it have been developed which will soon be available.

Listen to New Scientist tell the story:
DEATHS from cervical cancer could jump fourfold to a million a year by 2050, mainly in developing countries. This could be prevented by soon-to-be-approved vaccines against the virus that causes most cases of cervical cancer - but there are signs that opposition to the vaccines might lead to many preventable deaths.

The trouble is that the human papilloma virus (HPV) is sexually transmitted. So to prevent infection, girls will have to be vaccinated before they become sexually active, which could be a problem in many countries.

In the US, for instance, religious groups are gearing up to oppose vaccination, despite a survey showing 80 per cent of parents favour vaccinating their daughters. "Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV," says Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council, a leading Christian lobby group that has made much of the fact that, because it can spread by skin contact, condoms are not as effective against HPV as they are against other viruses such as HIV.

"Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex," Maher claims, though it is arguable how many young women have even heard of the virus. Will cancer vaccine get to all women?

This Family Research Council -- hey, didn't the CRC invite Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council to speak at their meeting to oppose the new MCPS sex-ed curriculum? Didn't Robert Knight, another featured speaker at the same meeting, used to be a member of the Family Research Council?

  • HPV causes cancer in women
  • HPV is spread sexually
  • There are new vaccines to prevent it
  • The Family Research Council opposes the vaccines because young women "may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex"
  • If they succeed in blocking its use, millions of women will die

This reasoning comes from a bunch of people who claim to have "moral values," people who claim to represent a "culture of life." These are people who would rather see millions die than do anything that could be interpreted as "a license to engage in premarital sex."

Do you agree with that thinking? Are these the kinds of principles you like to see guiding the county school board, as it develops its health curriculum?

The new curriculum is under attack from individuals who are aligned with organizations including Family Research Council who believe that America should be governed according to Christian principles. Their opposition to the curriculum could not be based on actual critical objections to the course content, because the curriculum itself is laughably innocuous. Their opposition is based on their desire to "take back" the school district, to make it an institution that represents their religious ideals.

Do you agree with that thinking?


Blogger Christine said...

No, I do not think this way and I thank heaven I do not! As a Lutheran, I truly wonder about those who profess to be Christian and yet espouse views about health that would lead to suffering and death.

Let's say you were rushing your injured child to the ER and there was a group of devout, fundamentalist Christian Scientists blocking the ER saying, "You don't need to see a Doctor. Just take your child home and pray for him and the Lord will take care of the rest." Would you go home and pray or push past the protesters to get your kid into the ER?

Could someone please explain to me how it is a Christian value to insist that believers eschew life-saving prophylactics from condoms to vaccines?

April 17, 2005 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim K.,

Here we go again… not TEACHING THE FACTS! This is actually what you should call your group. You continually pass on misinformation to people… and anyone who believes you without checking the information for themself is really naïve.

Jim K. have you ever heard of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention? They provide accurate true scientific based information. You should consider referencing their information instead of the resources you use. By the way, who the heck is New Scientists? Can you please provide contact info (such as website) to back up your info.

I have to say, that using factual information, then maybe you would then align yourself with the name of our group… and maybe more people would join ya…. wait.. never mind. There is already a group referencing factual based information… I found out their called Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC). I know you’re familiar with this fact based group… I read your blogs bashing them all the time. I wonder why you bash and hate them. Could it be because what they are saying is true??? Inquiring minds want to know…
Alright… let’s get back on track here. We want to inform people of the facts right. Here are the facts, straight from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (otherwise know as the CDC). For those wishing to verify this information, please check:
The types of HPV that infect the genital area are spread primarily through genital contact. Most HPV infections have no signs or symptoms; therefore, most infected persons are unaware they are infected, yet they can transmit the virus to a sex partner. Rarely, a pregnant woman can pass HPV to her baby during vaginal delivery. A baby that is exposed to HPV very rarely develops warts in the throat or voice box.
The surest way to eliminate risk for genital HPV infection is to refrain from any genital contact with another individual.
For those who choose to be sexually active, a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is the strategy most likely to prevent future genital HPV infections. However, it is difficult to determine whether a partner who has been sexually active in the past is currently infected.
For those choosing to be sexually active and who are not in long-term mutually monogamous relationships, reducing the number of sexual partners and choosing a partner less likely to be infected may reduce the risk of genital HPV infection. Partners less likely to be infected include those who have had no or few prior sex partners.
HPV infection can occur in both male and female genital areas that are covered or protected by a latex condom, as well as in areas that are not covered. While the effect of condoms in preventing HPV infection is unknown, condom use has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer, an HPV-associated disease.
So, you mentioned Peter Sprigg and Robert Knight? What about them. So what, I understand they spoke at the THM, what about it? What are your gripes with this? You’re not clear on this. As usual…

• HPV causes cancer in women – You’re absolutely correct on this.
• HPV is spread sexually – You are partially correct. I can be spread by skin-to-skin contact as well. So, using a condom cannot prevent this. The only way to prevent this is abstinence only. No skin-to-skin contact of any kind.
• There are new vaccines to prevent it – There hasn’t been any vaccines as of yet. Yes they are looking into vaccines… nothing available as of yet on the market.
• The Family Research Council opposes the vaccines because young women "may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex" – Not too sure about this statement… I’ll have to do the research on this. This is my own opinion; I can’t see any organization would oppose a cure for a disease. This doesn’t make any sense to me. I’d have to get back to you on this.
• If they succeed in blocking its use, millions of women will die – Again, I can’t see why they would block a cure for a disease. Do you honestly believe they would want millions of women to die? This is crazy. Why do the continually look for a cure for Aids. To stop the disease. Sounds like someone is trying to paint the wrong picture of a particular group….please be the judge for yourself, based on FACTUAL (the truth) information.

Moral people wanting to see millions of women die… let me guess… these moral people are Christians? Oh my goodness, Christians want to take over the world, program all children to be good people/citizens and productive in society and better yet, want to all see millions of women die. You certainly have not idea about Christians at all. You really need to do your research on this… before speaking.
Taking over the school board to impose religious ideals is ridiculous. As a parent who resides in Montgomery County, I myself, actually feel that the school board has no right to impose or teach any belief of any kind to my child. None! These matters of sexual nature should be taught in the home. The schools should stick to the real teaching of math, science, reading, etc. We are so far behind in the education of our children…. we really need to be concerned on the type of citizens they will become… not what sexual gender they identify with? Or being encouraged to have sex-play with their same gender friends? What kind of nonsense with this? Why must we focus on these issues? What about teaching our kids to be financially responsible… preparing them for life. Teaching them to be productive in society. All of this homosexual and sexually activity nonsense will in fact harm them and not help them in the long-run and should be dealt with in a controlled setting, such as their homes. They have their whole adult lives to deal with these matters…. Not childhood. We should be directing them away from this behavior instead of encouraging… especially in our taxpayer funded schools.
It really isn’t the responsibility of the school board or the teachers to teach our children this information. Has parenting stooped to this level… where you don’t have the time to parent your children… you’ll let the schools deal with these personal issues?
If anything, the CDC should be involved heavily with instruction on this matter. As they present factual information, unlike partisan groups.
Our children are precious… and we should be sure that they are protected at all costs. Even in our schools!
Let’s all LOVE PEOPLE, LOVE THE TRUTH! Not different versions of the truth(otherwise known as opinions), which I find is spewed all over this website. People please search for the facts from many sources… and not just one!
P.S. Cillygoose, I hope you seek and find the truth about Christians. It seems as though, you yourself a Christian is very critical of other Christians… You should know that Christians do not want people to suffer or die. Ever hear about Pro-Life? Christians surely do not condone death.

April 17, 2005 10:07 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, I'm not sure what all this is, you seem to agree with me that the Family Research Council is off their rocker, but then your own rocker is approaching escape velocity too, it looks like.

The CDC generally gives good information, for instance I was appreciative of their advice to wear a condom in order to prevent sexually transmitted diseases including HPV, and I like to consult them as a reference on a lot of these questions. But... did that have something to do with what this blog post was about? The CRC's buddies, the Family Research Council, supports the position that it's better not to vaccinate women, because it might give them the idea that it's ok to have sex. It's better to let them die than to allow them to believe that sex before marriage is acceptable.

If you want to doubt New Scientist, here's the Family Research Council at their own site; LINK (scroll down to "Teen Study Shows Need for Abstinence-until-Marriage Programs"). While medical research into preventing disease is of course welcome, there is a potential harm in an approach that focuses on vaccinating young people against STDs. First, young people may assume that a vaccination is a license to engage in premarital sex... But apparently these new quotes come from an interview conducted by the New Scientist reporter with FRC staff.

It's a little underhanded of you to criticize the magazine's credibility when they publish something you don't like. New Scientist has been in existence for more than fifteen years, and is a reputable British "popular science" type publication.

April 17, 2005 10:48 PM  
Blogger Isabel Manuela said...

Jim, you are a very nice and patient guy, in fact. I don't know how you bothered to answer that rambling that had so little to do with anything. He/She was saying that you were lying about the essence of the post: some organizations don't want the vaccine because it might mean a "have premarital sex" license to young women (always, notice that these is all about women, of course, they are the ones that get HPV, but, unless they are lesbians, they have sex with men). Well, all he/she needed to do -since she/he so much doubted you- was Google the quote, and it will be shown ASAP. So, why say that the essence of the post is wrong or a lie when he/she "’ll have to do the research on this. This is my own opinion; I can’t see any organization would oppose a cure for a disease. This doesn’t make any sense to me. I’d have to get back to you on this."?
Wouldn’t it work better to do the research first before embarrassing yourself saying that something is a lie -like the other that called us liars on the issue of the Recall meeting did when the secretary of Recall had to admit they did try to prevent us from accepting signatures -?
By the way, these website is shock full of CDC's links and quotes, because their facts that you so much value are very much in line with our view of these issues, for instance:
"CDC estimates that half of all HIV infections in the U.S. occur among young people under the age of 25, and HIV infection is the sixth leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. In addition, three million cases of other STDs occur each year among teens, and up to one million teens become pregnant in the U.S. each year. CDC believes it is critical to reach young people with comprehensive prevention messages to both delay first intercourse among teens and to increase condom use among young people who are sexually active."
And about the Christianity part: Would you mind to quote the chapter and verse where the Bible says that being critical is bad?

April 18, 2005 11:03 AM  
Blogger andrear said...

Dear Anon:

the Family Research Council opposing the HPV vaccine(and it is a fact-they are in various clinical trials now and have been for some years)- makes no sense to you? Most of what the Family Research Council says makes no sense to me-so if they have just gone one step further to making someone who would support them disapprove-I am not surprised.

I do not think HPV is spread by any skin to skin contact- like shaking hands won't do it.

April 18, 2005 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Tish said...

Women don't have the option of only thinking about the sexual contact we choose. It is said one in four women will be the victim of sexual violence in her lifetime. I'm sorry I don't have a quotable source for that statistic, but here's one from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center: 25,000 U.S. women per year become pregnant as a result of sexual assault. (
Think about the disease risk for victims of sexual assault.
My daughter was molested when she was 16 years old. She was walking down Takoma Avenue in Takoma Park at noon on a bright summer day. She was wearing jeans and an oversized tee shirt and sneakers. She was three blocks from the subway, one block from the Community College, and four blocks from our house. An adult male came up behind her, reached around her and grabbed her breasts and began pulling her into the shrubbery beside the sidewalk. She fought him; she screamed, kicked, scratched and hit. She knocked him down and got away from him and ran to the door of nearest house. One of the ways that she was fortunate was that it was the home of a former classmate whose mother had been my daughter's Girl Scout leader. The family brought her inside and called the Takoma Park Police. Another way my daughter was fortunate was that the TP police sent an officer who was very sensative to the needs of a juvenile assault victim. Things could have been so very much worse for my daughter.
This happened to her in a "safe neighborhood." It was a "safe" time of day. She was wearing "safe" clothes. One of the things we parents have to deal with as our children become adults is that we cannot always keep them completely safe. We can provide lots of safety nets, though. We can choose neighborhoods where people look out for each other and we can make the connections that enable our children to find safe houses when they are endangered. We can look out for each other's kids and we can employ top-notch safety professionals. We can teach our children the things they need to know about their own bodies to make healthy and minimize their risks. And we can take measures to reduce risks. If there was an HPV vaccine available, I would want my daughter to have it. And after thinking about it, I'd want my sons to have it too. Not every risk we face comes as a result of our own choices. Not vaccinating against a harmful disease because it might maybe make some girls think that pre-marital sex is OK is like not putting on seat belts because then they won't decide to go ahead and have an auto accident.

This information about HPV prevention is from the government's website ( It appears after the appropriate advice about abstinance and sexual fidelity:

"Practice "safer sex." This means protecting yourself with a condom EVERY time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

For vaginal sex, use a latex male condom or a female polyurethane condom. For anal sex, use a latex male condom. If needed, use only water based lubricants with male and female condoms. For oral sex, use a dental dam - a device used by dentists, made out of a rubbery material, that you place over the opening to the vagina before having oral sex. If you don't have a dental dam, you can cut an unlubricated male condom open and place it over the opening to the vagina.

Even though it may be embarrassing, if you don't know how to use a male or female condom, talk to your health care provider. The biggest reason condoms don't work is because they are not used correctly.

Be aware that condoms don't provide complete protection against STDs. But, they do decrease your chances of getting an STD. Know also that other methods of birth control, like birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms don't protect you from STDs. If you use one of these methods, be sure to also use a condom every time you have sex."

this gets right to the heart of why we need to give our teens complete information about sexuality and sexually transmitted infections. This is why we have to take responsibility for demonstrating how to put a condom on correctly every time. Soon enough, they will be the ones who are solely responsible for their own health and safety.

My apologies for the length of this and my often erratic spelling.

April 18, 2005 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Tish... I am really sorry to hear about what happen to your daughter. As a parent you have that right to vacinate your child/ren for this STD if you want to. This is a personal decision and should be handled as such.
I honestly don't believe that kids should be vacinated for this... this of course is my personal opinion.

Regarding Jim and Isabel... you two have no clue about anything. I mean "NONE!" This disease (HPV) can be spread from skin-to-skin contact on the genitalia area. Ask any doctor... read the info from the CDC. And of course you can not get it from shaking hands. I'd expect for you to say something stupid and redicilous like this... this is what is expected from your group. You're a running joke!!! You guys always go for the extreme. For goodness sakes... you claim to teach the facts... you really need to get the facts! HPV can be spread by skin-to-skin contact EVEN IF YOU USE A CONDOM. GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT! Why does everyone think that the condom is the be all and end all solution to spreading diseases. IT IS NOT! WAKE UP PEOPLE! We should be giving children all the facts on the reasons NOT TO HAVE SEX... and not go along and showing them how to... or even encouraging this behavior in children. WHAT KIND OF PARENT ARE YOU? Don't you care about protecting your kids from all the diseases they could potentially get by being sexually active? If so, why are you encouraging this behavior in CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!! Let me tell you a secret... listen carefully.... the only way to protect themselves 100% from contracting any disease of any type is to NOT DO IT! NO TOUCHING, NO RUBBING, NO KISSING, NO SUCKING, NO NOTHING! Got it! What is wrong with telling the kids this. They're not old enough to even consider having sexual acts... this is for grown ups and should be taught such. Forget what everyone else is doing... this is for their safety and well being.

As society would have it, I wouldn't be surprised if some of you "so called parents" let your children have sex in your own homes! I tell you... some people really don't need to be parents... starting with you Jim! And you Isabel... you are truly a disgrace to the hispanic community. Keep on speaking up... us hispanics are listening and need to see your true colors for what it is... a willing participant to the destruction of our communities and the generations to follow.

By the way let me respond to you now before you even say it... so what that I am submitting my comment as anonymous. If you don't like the fact that I am doing this... why offer this as an identity option? ... I know this is killing you... if this bothers you that much... I'll tell you my name... Suzie Q. How does this work for you Jim K.?

April 28, 2005 10:36 AM  

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