I recently read a blog about a local parent having "the" talk with her 12 year old daughter. To open the conversation she handed her daughter a condom and asked if she knew what it was. She did (duh!)and they had a conversation about the sex and the tools out there to make it safe. This woman received so many negative comments about adding to the problem of increasing teenage pregnancy and "What right do you have to be a Mother". It seriously ticked me off.
At the age of 14 I had every intention of remaining a virgin until I was married. I had the strictest of parents who knew where I was at all times (went as far as tracking my mileage when I went to work)to make sure I wasn't off screwing around (literally). I was raised in a Christian home and my grandfather was a Lutheran reverend. I "knew" sex was supposed to be special. That didn't stop me from doing it at 16. A year later my mom faced the facts when I started seeing a guy who was a few years older and sent me off for the first visit with the gyno and to start me on the pill. To be fair to myself (and to keep me from looking like a bigger slut than I may or may not have been) the older guy (on a strange related note - said guy is now married to my husbands cousin) was my second, and I still always used condoms. I had education on my side. Despite this at age 18 I was diagnosed with HPV in the form of pre-cancerous cells on my cervix. I had to go through biopsy and cryosurgery (nitrogen gas is sprayed on to the problem areas inside your lady bits to freeze (kill)them)on my own.
Knowing that abstinence only doesn't always work (it didn't for me) and the fact that I am not willing to lock my kids in a closet till their wedding day (in which I have arranged with another parent that did the same); I will give my kids the knowledge to stay health and non-fertilized in the case that they choose to have sex. Including the HPV shot. That's not saying I will not try to convince them not to have sex. I would really rather they not. I am not naive enough to believe that even if they make it though High School without humping, that will remain the case when they go off to college. I truly believe that knowledge is power.