Telegraph are irresponsible on cervical cancer

Today's Daily Telegraph says that "Cervical cancer jab would 'make girls more promiscuous'." But the statistics cited do not provide any evidence that the girls would actually 'give in' to their boyfriend's stupid demands for them to endanger their own health.

Today’s Daily Telegraph contains an alarmist headline: “Cervical cancer jab would ‘make girls more promiscuous’.”

The statistics cited in support show:

“Almost one in five girls (19 per cent) also think a boyfriend may expect them to take sexual risks because they have had the jab.”

But there is no evidence that the girls would actually ‘give in’ to their boyfriend’s stupid demands for them to endanger their own health so the use of the word “would” is entirely misleading.

Instead of using that statistic to write the headline “Men force one in five girls to endanger their own health”, the Telegraph decided to follow an editorial line which is medically irresponsible because it could result in fewer girls seeking the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.

As we know with the recent, tragic death of Jade Goody, cervical cancer kills. It kills quickly and it kills young women. We should be doing everything we can to protect women against this cancer if we can, and yet the Telegraph prefer to peddle their outmoded view that any discussion about sexual health and young people will make them more sexually active.

The poll actually presents some really good news

“79 per cent of girls said having the vaccination reminds them of the possible risks of sexual contact and 93 per cent think it shows they are serious about their own health.”

So if anything, having the vaccine might help to raise awareness among young girls about other sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia.

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