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Section: sexuality, children, relationships

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.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Captain prevento's Comment
Use spermicidal jelly with the condoms.

Sally's Comment
Is the writer implying that it’s the girl’s responsibility to handle the birth control? Because it’s not. Just like a woman can ask a man to wear a condom, a man can ask a woman to use back up birth control. (Not force. Ask.)

nymphomaniac 's Comment
NO SALLY aka Karen... JUST STOP ...for real, get a grip and STOP THE PROPAGANDA BS AND STOP TRYING TO FORCE YOUR AGENDAS ONTO OTHERS ..NOW GO BACK AND READ WHAT WAS WRITTEN "so she can see a gynecologist on a regular basis. It is important that she stay healthy and informed." Hello, you don't only visit the gynecologist for birth control. SHE DID NOT say anything about it only being the girls responsibility...that was completely made up crap by YOU... YOU are what is wrong with America reading comprehension (you must have slept through grades 2 and 3) and then you just want to start interjecting false thing we can decipher from the article, is that Evie is getting more sex than you are! Bahahaha

Reader Comment
nympho's comment is clearly from an idiot! Just stop with the stupid "Karen' BS and get a life which you apparently do not have. Go sit back in your corner with the other spiders and read up on what "propaganda" really is, fool!

Reader Comment
Based on the writer's "premarital intimacy" comment, I suspect that she's hoping that the girl's parents will punish her and stop her from seeing the writer's son. Teens aren't always comfortable sharing these subjects with their parents. The school counselor suggestion was a good one.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat."
-Ann Landers