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‘This Shot Can Save Your Life!’ (Or Can It?): Framing of the HPV Vaccine in Teen, Parenting, and Women’s Magazines
Unformatted Document Text:  ‘This Shot Can Save Your Life!’ (Or Can It?): Framing of the HPV Vaccine in Teen, Parenting, and Women’s Magazines health roundup feature. Considering that the HPV vaccine was big news during this time period, first when then FDA approved its use and then again when several states started contemplating a mandate of its use, these magazines seemed to be relatively uninterested in covering the vaccine with any depth. In fact, only one magazine, Teen Vogue, even mentioned the mandate issue at all and was one of the only magazines to touch on the fact that there was any controversy over the vaccine. It was definitely the only magazine to do so without refuting any opposition with an almost snarky “you must be nuts” counterargument. Andsager and Powers suggest in their analysis of the way breast cancer and breast implants are framed in women’s magazines that it is critical for media that is targeted to women to do a comprehensive and thorough job when covering health issues that are meaningful to women, because mainstream television and newspapers tend to do a less than satisfactory job. 87 Even when the issues are controversial, they note, it is important for media like women’s magazines to delve deeply, seeking out expert and unofficial sources, male and female sources, pros and cons of new developments and interviews from opposing camps. Simply relying on one source per story or telling only one side of an issue isn’t adequate, they argue, as these niche media have more opportunity to impact personal behavior. The HPV vaccine certainly offers a controversial new development, relevant to women’s health. Unfortunately, the magazines in this study fail to put forth the comprehensive coverage as proposed by Andsager and Powers. On the contrary, the vaccine was either originally framed through an oversimplistic medical breakthrough lens and linked to a “scary,” humiliating disease, or ignored, and then framed with optimism but caution, but still no real depth. Research shows that women use magazines to find out information about sensitive topics and sexual health information they might otherwise be too embarrassed to seek out from other

Authors: Lepre, Carolyn.
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‘This Shot Can Save Your Life!’ (Or Can It?): Framing of the HPV Vaccine in Teen, Parenting, 
and Women’s Magazines
health roundup feature. Considering that the HPV vaccine was big news during this time period, 
first when then FDA approved its use and then again when several states started contemplating a 
mandate of its use, these magazines seemed to be relatively uninterested in covering the vaccine 
with any depth. In fact, only one magazine, Teen Vogue, even mentioned the mandate issue at all 
and was one of the only magazines to touch on the fact that there was any controversy over the 
vaccine. It was definitely the only magazine to do so without refuting any opposition with an 
almost snarky “you must be nuts” counterargument. 
Andsager and Powers suggest in their analysis of the way breast cancer and breast 
implants are framed in women’s magazines that it is critical for media that is targeted to women 
to do a comprehensive and thorough job when covering health issues that are meaningful to 
women, because mainstream television and newspapers tend to do a less than satisfactory job.
Even when the issues are controversial, they note, it is important for media like women’s 
magazines to delve deeply, seeking out expert and unofficial sources, male and female sources, 
pros and cons of new developments and interviews from opposing camps. Simply relying on one 
source per story or telling only one side of an issue isn’t adequate, they argue, as these niche 
media have more opportunity to impact personal behavior. The HPV vaccine certainly offers a 
controversial new development, relevant to women’s health. Unfortunately, the magazines in this 
study fail to put forth the comprehensive coverage as proposed by Andsager and Powers. On the 
contrary, the vaccine was either originally framed through an oversimplistic medical 
breakthrough lens and linked to a “scary,” humiliating disease, or ignored, and then framed with 
optimism but caution, but still no real depth.   
Research shows that women use magazines to find out information about sensitive topics 
and sexual health information they might otherwise be too embarrassed to seek out from other 

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