Mrs. Balabusta will diverge from her humorous self to discuss this serious topic, soon to be a major motion picture - or at least a major motion.
First the facts about HPV and Gardasil: HPV causes genital warts and some forms of cervical dysplasia that can lead to cervical cancer. Most Pap smears that come back abnormal are from changes related to HPV. The Gardasil vaccine provides immunity for some of the more wicked strains of HPV that cause the most serious damage, but there are over 100 strains of HPV, most of them being mostly harmless. HPV is only transmitted via sexual contact.
So why, you rightly ask, should a virgin marrying a virgin need to be vaccinated for a sexually transmitted disease?
My daughter and I examined this very carefully. We were able to do this with a number of solid assumptions, and a few suppositions:
1. She will not have intercourse until after she marries.
2. She will marry someone of this faith, probably with a similar disposition. 3. People sometime misrepresent themselves or their pasts for fear of rejection. (corollary: Everyone is not who or what they appear to be), (or if you watched Babylon 5 ,"No one is who they appear to be")
4. She would not reject a suitor of the faith and similar disposition, out of hand, just because they were not always religious.
Given all these circumstances, or "givens", we could envision a scenario where she might meet and marry a person with an unspectacular past. Or, conversely, she might meet someone who claims to be a virgin, but really isn't. Either way, we decided that it is a lot easier to make a decision about whether or not to get vaccinated when the issue is not attached to a particular person, whereupon it becomes a much thornier issue. For example, it is a lot easier to say that "Sometimes guys lie about their past" than it is to say "Do you think ________ is being truthful about his sexual past?"
Of course, the last issue is the state of affairs today, no pun intended. You all know who I am talking about. Issues that come up that used to be orthodox urban myths but are no longer imaginary. I don't think I really need to be any more explicit than this except to quote my quotable husband who says "If you can imagine it, it's already happened."
So erring on the side of "Better Safe than Sorry", we decided that to pass up this immunization would be equal to sticking your head in the sand. Cervical cancer is not pretty, and if I can protect my children from even an abstract chance I'll do it.
Feel free to disagree with me - but I would ask you to confine your comments to the discussion above. I am not interested in getting into the whole "vaccinations are evil" movement or "preventive medicine leads to promiscuity". No research has borne out either of these claims.