DEAR ABBY: I just found out my 18-year-old daughter, "Lorraine," and I have drastically different views regarding sex.
Since her 18th birthday, Lorraine has had sex with three different men. She will meet them, spend a day with them, and have sex as part of the date. Lorraine feels that sex is "no big deal," but I am heartsick. She is putting her health in danger -- and I don't think what she's doing is emotionally healthy, either. Lorraine says I wouldn't feel this way if she were my son, but she's wrong.
Don't young people today care about their physical and emotional health? How can I make her understand that it is important to have an emotional attachment with someone before having sex? -- WORRIED MOM IN WASHINGTON
DEAR WORRIED MOM: Since your daughter appears to be tuning out your important message, I recommend that you both attend some sex education sessions so she can hear with a fresh ear what the concerns really are. Planned Parenthood, which is in your phone book, would be an excellent reference.
While you're at it, contact the American Social Health Association (ASHA) and ask for some of their comprehensive materials on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which are rampant in our population. That way, even if your daughter is not willing to take your concerns to heart, she will at least know how to protect herself.
Call: National Herpes Hotline: (919) 361-8488; National HPV Hotline: (919) 361-4848; and the CDC's National STD and AIDS Hotline: (800) 227-8922. The Web address is www.ashastd.org. They also host a special Web site for teens: www.iwannaknow.org.