This Prick Will Make a Woman Out of You

It’s quickly becoming an iconic moment of adolescent female sexuality. First you’re penetrated, then it hurts terribly. You may cry. You may even faint. For a day or two afterward, you might feel kind of weird.

Losing your virginity? No, getting the HPV vaccine.

75% of me wants to write off this story about how incredibly painful the shot is (with hints of maybe you shouldn’t let your daughter get the raging slut shot) as mostly laziness. The reporter clearly went to a CDC-based conference in Georgia and saw this presentation and thought, “Both easy to write about and has a great hook, because it’s about teenage girls and Teh Sex.” But the hyperbolic language of the piece, especially the stuff about the vaccine being the most painful shot ever (more painful than having your cervix removed?) is irresponsible in an atmosphere where sexphobic, religion-addled parents are resisting getting this life-saving prevention for their daughters in the first place, and are probably looking for any excuse possible to avoid it.

Because the shot doesn’t sound significantly different than other vaccines.

The pain is short-lived, girls say; many react with little more than a grimace. But some teens say it’s uncomfortable driving with or sleeping on the injected arm for up to a day after getting the shot.

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