Family and Society: July 2006 Archives

HPV Vaccine


John Bambenek has a post on the new HPV vaccine, recently approved and soon to be distrubuted to 12-year old girls in your local middle school. This reminds me of something else I heard on that On Point show I blogged about earlier this week.

The vaccine targets strains of HPV that are known to lead to cervical cancer. The vaccine is thus being touted by some as a "cancer vaccine." The problem is that it only prevents about 70% of cancer-causing HPV strains, and its effectiveness is in such doubt that Janet Gilsdorf, Chair of the HPV Working Group for the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices says an 11 or 12 year old girl receiving the vaccine will hace her chance of getting cervical cancer decreased by 20-66%.

Now, yeah sure 20% less cancer is good. But how many times have you heard this figure mentioned? Isn't it a little disingenuous to tout a "cancer vaccine" whose effectiveness could be as low as 20%? How many young girls receiving this vaccine will have an unjustified sense of being protected from this virus and from cervical cancer?

A real argument can be made that this vaccine will do more harm than goodUnfortunately, there's no way to quantify a "false sense of security," so we'll never know and proponents will continue to paint people with real concerns about this as puritanical fascists while they go on encouraging teenage kids to live in a fantasy land of consequence-free sex.

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Theological-Pastoral Congress on the Family


Not to be forgotten amidst the coverage of the Pope's visit last week to Valencia, Spain for the 5th World Meeting of Families was the theological congress that preceded it.

Here is Zenit's coverage of the opening proceedings.

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, gave the address, in which he said "[t]here is no doubt that the clear perception of the value, of the very preciousness of marriage, is today being gradually obscured."

"In my judgment, the most emblematic event of this obscuring is that on Jan. 18, 2006, with 468 votes in favor, 149 opposed and 41 abstentions, the European Parliament approved a resolution which calls for equating homosexual couples with those of man and woman and condemns as homophobic those states and countries that are opposed to the recognition of gay couples," lamented Cardinal Caffarra.

More coverage:

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Or just d***n good luck?

Live Science: Moms Prefer Smell of Their Own Baby's Poop

Scientists find that moms consistently rank the stink of their baby's "number two" as No. 1.

In a new study, 13 mothers were asked to sniff soiled diapers belonging to both their own child and others from an unrelated baby. The women consistently ranked the smell of their own child's feces as less revolting than that of other babies.

This effect persisted even when the diapers were purposely mislabeled.

One possible explanation is that the mothers were simply more accustomed to their their baby's stink and therefore found it less repulsive. A more intriguing possibility, the researchers say, is that the mothers' reactions are an evolutionary adaptation allowing them to overcome their natural disgust so that they can properly care for their babies.

Hat-tip to the Family Scholars Blog.

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On On Point today:

"I was raised by a wonderful conservative Catholic family and we did not promote sexual promiscuity... I had a handful of partners, and I'm stunned that I have this virus. I don't know how I got it or by who because I had so few partners."

Sigh. I mean no harm to this woman. She is in a very difficult situation, and I hope her mistake doesn't prove to be fatal, but this kind of statement reveals the naivete that's been hammered into our young people's heads by the "safe-sex" crowd.

Later in the show, we get to hear Katha Pollitt opine about how "disturbing" it is that some parents have an "obsession with keeping young people away from sex."

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Family and Society category from July 2006.

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