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by Abigail Van Buren

Female Pallbearers Carry Just as Well as Males

DEAR ABBY: I have been told by friends that it is possible to get pregnant through your jeans. I can't believe this!

I am a virgin, just turned 15, and know I am going to be more involved with guys now that I'm dating. If this is possible, I am scared to death to get very close to any guy. I need to know as soon as possible.

I hope you won't think this is a dumb question. -- WORRIED IN EL PASO

DEAR WORRIED: It is not a dumb question. It's a very intelligent one. A lot of kids get aroused just by lying close to each other while kissing. Then they just naturally proceed to the next step, which is petting.

It's not possible to get pregnant through one's jeans, but sometimes kids remove some of their clothing because it's "in the way," or they burrow underneath it to explore each other's bodies with their hands. This is known as heavy petting, or "doing everything else but."

The technical (and legal) definition of sexual intercourse is "penetration." (The male's sex organ must penetrate the female's.) However, as impossible as it may sound, in the medical literature can be found cases where there has been no penetration -- the girl remained a virgin, but after engaging in heavy petting, she found herself pregnant.

I have included this information in my booklet for teens.