Yesterday, an Irish Times article titled "Why are vaccinations, like the HPV vaccine, getting bad press?" stated:
"There is absolutely no scientific evidence of serious long-term effects. When it comes to various groups blaming the HPV vaccine for subsequent illness, there may be a hidden agenda. According to some of them, the HPV vaccine sexualises young girls and encourages promiscuity".
Which begs the question as to who are these groups and where have they stated this belief? While contemplating that question I found an earlier Irish Times opinion piece titled "Second Opinion: Give your daughter a healthy sex life with the HPV vaccine", coincidentally by the same author. Maybe these 'various groups', if they even exist, discovered this 'agenda' via the narrative being put forward by the latter article.
I am reminded of the definition for a "Strawman" argument which goes something like this: If you can't logically defeat your opponent's main argument then one may invent another, more easier-to-defeat argument, which you then attribute to your opponent (even though your opponent may never have put forward that argument).
Back to this recent Irish Times article - in the paragraph preceding the 'vaccines are extremely safe' argument, the author further explains the 'beliefs' of those with a presumed hidden agenda: "Some people are so opposed to sex between unmarried couples that they believe contracting a sexually transmitted disease is a well-deserved punishment. These beliefs are complete nonsense and dangerous".
If readers wish to see more examples of how to 'present' an opponent's argument, then please see another of this author's opinion pieces: "Second Opinion: Talks on sexual abstinence have no place in our schools".