It doesn't hasten girls' entrance into adulthood or turn them into sex maniacs. It protects from cancer.
One of life's hardest lessons is learned early on. Or at least it should be. As J.M. Barrie immortalized in the opening sentences of Peter Pan:
All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!" This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up.
Profound a truth as this may be, there must be remain some who insist on trying their hardest to unlearn it. Why else would Pediatrics deem it necessary to publish a study, as it did today, establishing that the HPV vaccine does not somehow cause adolescent girls to become prematurely promiscuous? That time and money had to be spent proving this -- and that the results are being so widely touted -- is in deference to the delusional: the Mrs. Darlings attempting to convince themselves that their Wendys can, in perpetuity, remain untouched.
They do so at their daughters' risk.
HPV poses a threat as both the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. -- the CDC reports that most sexually active adults will contract the virus at some point in their lives -- and as a leading cause of cervical cancer, which affects 12,000 U.S. women each year and kills one-third of them.