What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Study: HPV Vaccine Is Not A Gateway to Sex

December 13, 2011, 6:41 PM

A frequently cited objection to widespread use of the Gardasil vaccine against Human Papillomavirus is that it will give children the message that it's normal, expected and inevitable that they will have sex with a partner or partner who has had sex with others before. That is, for some parents, is a message they don't want to send. At heart, that position is a matter of values and not facts. Still, maybe some parents can take comfort in this study (pdf), out today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine: It found that the vaccine isn't interpreted as a sexual all-clear. Quite the opposite: Girls who were vaccinated, the authors found, were no different in their later sexual behavior than were those who were not.

The study reviewed data on more than 1,200 women between 15 and 24, some of whom had received the HPV vaccine and some of whom had not. (The data source, the National Survey of Family Growth, did not specify the age at which the women were vaccinated.) There were no significant differences in the sexual experiences reported by the two groups.

The paper's lead author, Nicole C. Liddon, told Health Behavior News Service's Stephanie Stephens "the lack of association between vaccination and risky behavior should help assuage concerns" that the HPV vaccine reduces women's inhibitions about having sex. Given that the vaccine is a cultural and political symbol, this seems unlikely. But at least this paper injects some real data into the argument.

Illustration: William Strang, The Temptation, via Wikimedia


Study: HPV Vaccine Is Not A...

Newsletter: Share: