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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 23, 2007 / 5 Adar, 5767

Parents' dilemma

By Linda Chavez


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What if you could protect your child from a potentially life-threatening disease with a simple vaccination, but administering those shots might encourage her to engage in behavior that, statistically speaking, would be far more likely to cause her grave harm?


Parents of young girls face precisely this dilemma in deciding whether to immunize their pre-teen daughters with the new vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer. Now, to complicate matters further, 20 states are considering mandating such vaccinations, even insisting girls can't attend school unless they've been inoculated; and one state — Texas — already requires the shots (effective September 2008).


Gardasil, an anti-HPV vaccine produced by Merck & Co., was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and the company is aggressively marketing it through television ads and lobbying state legislatures to mandate vaccinations of all young girls. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who signed an executive order requiring sixth-grade girls to receive the shots, is under fire because his former chief of staff is now a lobbyist for Merck.


The problem is the vaccine must be given before a girl is sexually active to guarantee immunity from the most common forms of the virus (there are 40 types of genital HPV, and Gardasil only protects against four, though two of these cause about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases in the U.S.). But the question is: What age is appropriate, especially since the vaccine may only provide protection for five years and no booster currently exists (though one is in the works)?


The makers of Gardasil and their advocates in state legislatures are operating on the assumption that all girls will become sexually active in their teen years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about two thirds of girls have had sex by the time they are seniors in high school — which means at least one third haven't done so. But if the school starts immunizing girls as young as 9, as the makers of Gardasil recommend, doesn't it send a very strong message that the school expects those girls will be sexually active before they hit 14, since the drug won't necessarily be effective after that age?


And the message may be even more provocative if the parents make the choice voluntarily. It may say to the girl, "Mommy and Daddy think you'll probably lose your virginity before your 14th birthday, so we are going to make sure you're vaccinated against HPV when you're 9 years old."


There is no question that parental expectations play a role in teenage sexual behavior. An annual poll taken by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, for example, shows that 87 percent of teens think it would be easier to postpone sex and avoid teen pregnancy if they had open, honest discussions with their parents. And a whopping 92 percent say they think "society should provide them with a strong message to not have sex until they are at least out of high school."


Of course, "society" sends exactly the opposite messages in advertising, television, film and popular music.


What makes the campaign to vaccinate pre-pubescent girls against HPV all the more puzzling is what we know about current cervical cancer rates. Cervical cancer, while a killer worldwide, has been reduced dramatically in the U.S. by screening women through the use of a simple test, the Pap smear. Since 1955, cervical cancer rates are down 74 percent.


Fewer than one in 10,000 women over 18 will get cervical cancer each year, and only about one in 30,000 will die from it, mostly those who failed to be tested on a regular basis and, therefore, didn't discover they had the disease until its later stages. Moreover, of those who do end up with cervical cancer, the majority contracted HPV, which usually takes 10-20 years to cause cancer, in their 20s or 30s.


Parents ought to be able to make decisions about when to vaccinate their daughters against HPV on their own, without pressure from schools or lawmakers. Responsible parents might even use the occasion to open a frank discussion with their daughters about the dangers of all sexually transmitted diseases and the value of delaying sexual activity.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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