Dear Ann Landers, Our 16-year-old son recently admitted that he is having sex with his girlfriend, "Evie." It's not as if we have never discussed sex. We have had long talks with him about it and discouraged premarital intimacy. He seemed to understand the dangers, but apparently, that didn't stop him.
Evie's parents are divorced, but we are friends with both of them. I think the girl should tell her parents that she is having sex so they can advise her and help her choose an appropriate method of birth control. Our son says he is using condoms, but I know they are not always 100 percent reliable. Both of these kids want to go to college, and we are concerned that an unplanned pregnancy could destroy their lives.
I don't know how to get Evie to tell her parents. Her mother is a very understanding woman, so this ought not be a problem. Should I let my son know that if Evie doesn't tell her folks, I will? My husband says it is none of our business, but I say what happens to our teenage son definitely IS our business. Please advise me. -- Upset in Cape Coral, Fla.
Dear Cape Coral, Do NOT tell the girl's parents that their daughter is having sex with your son. The young couple would consider it a betrayal, and it could poison their relationship with you for all time. It is up to Evie to tell her parents, if she chooses to do so.
Although your son is demonstrating responsibility by using condoms, he should know that the failure rate for condoms is about 17 percent. A pregnancy for these two would be disastrous. Don't count on a frank discussion to change their behavior, however. Experts tell us that once teenagers become sexually active, they rarely stop.
Since your son has told you what is going on, urge him to insist that the girl tell her folks so she can see a gynecologist on a regular basis. It is important that she stay healthy and informed. Some visits with the school counselor would be very helpful. I recommend it.