• Girls;
  • HPV;
  • immunisation;
  • sexual behaviour;
  • young women

Please cite this paper as: Forster A, Marlow L, Waller J. Adolescents’ beliefs about their parents’ human papillomavirus vaccination decisions. BJOG 2010;117:229–233.

A significant minority of parents are concerned that human papillomavirus vaccination will affect sexual behaviour. We explored this issue with 162 adolescent girls. Most (between 90 and 92%) did not perceive a connection between parental consent to vaccination and parental authorisation for sexual activity, but a small percentage believed that vaccination consent implied that they were old enough to have sex (8%), or that it was okay for them to be sexually active (10%). The findings are broadly reassuring, but highlight the need for vaccination information materials to clarify why the vaccine is administered before sexual debut.