Once in a while I have to get over my reticence to be forthright in discussing risks teens face with you, their parents. I have no problem warning teens about the risks of oral sex, but don’t we parents hate to even think such things might be going on in the social circles our teens frequent? And yet…teens are doing it because they think it’s a safe option. Not only does oral seem to function as a “gateway” activity which leads to vaginal sex, it also carries risks of its own. This article by CBS points out that an STD passed on by oral sex is now the cause of the majority of cases of oral, head and neck cancers. It’s Human Papillomavirus. The article suggests getting vaccinated, but doesn’t mention that the vaccine only protects against the 4 strains of HPV that are responsible for 70% of the cases of either genital warts, or cervical and oral/head/neck cancers. A better idea? Share the article with your teen, and encourage them to choose abstinence if they want to be healthy and happy.