01/10/2013 11:15 am ET Updated Mar 12, 2013

Why Are We Still Talking About HPV Vaccination And Promiscuity?

There's been a lot of talk about HPV vaccination -- which protects women against cervical cancer --somehow making girls promiscuous, so much so that scientists have studied the issue again and again. Those studies have found no link between vaccination and increased sexual activity, but they don't appear to be doing much in the way of swaying public opinion. A new National Cancer Institute report found that cancer deaths have declined in the U.S. in the last several decades, but the incidence rates of certain HPV-associated cancers have increased during that time.

Why? One expert told Time it has a lot to do with good ol' fashioned squeamishness about discussing sex with kids, both on the part of parents and health care providers.

"Just as it is hard for some patients to talk about anal disease or their kids having sex, it's equally hard for some providers to talk about it," Dr. Julian Sanchez, a colorectal-cancer surgeon at City of Hope told Time."I talk about it everyday, and sometimes it is still difficult for me to approach some patients who I know have a degree of opposition to this type of conversation."

For more on the basics of HPV vaccination from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here.