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updated 11/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Readers were dismayed by the apparent promiscuity of American teenagers (PEOPLE, Nov. 5), though several school-age letter writers protested that our report was exaggerated. Correspondents were also incensed by Donald Rogerson's acquittal in the fatal shooting of Karen Wood.

TEENS & SEX
Come on! Your article makes it sound like all teenagers everywhere are sexually active. I am 14 and go to a typical high school in a typical town. In the whole school there are three, maybe four, sexually active students who are proud of it and willing to admit it. The majority of teens lead healthy, happy lives without premarital sex. Please don't give up on the teens of today—we're not as "bad" as you think.
Hala Habal
Sherman, Tex.

Your article insinuated that it is primarily the members of the lower-middle class who are promiscuous. As students of a well-endowed New England boarding school, we are writing to inform you that over 80 percent of the senior class in our school have engaged in sexual activity. The point of this letter is not to put down your article but to enlighten the public about a nationwide problem that knows no social boundaries.
Leah Klonaris
Alicia George
Newport, R.I.

Your article on teen sex hit close to home. My younger sister has been sexually active for about three years. Two months ago she discovered she was pregnant and had an abortion. She was barely 13 years old. The sad thing is, she hasn't slowed down.
Name Withheld

I hope the Gloria Steinems, the Betty Friedans and the Molly Yards who brought about this wonderful sexual freedom read every word. Freedom? Ask the 13-year-olds who are hauling their babies to class how free they feel. Bring back Billy Graham! Bring back Pat Robertson! Let's get religion back into our lives and into our classrooms.
Jane Mallory
Pasadena, Calif.

As a 17-year-old, few things I hear or read about sex shock me, but after reading your article, I was speechless. I can't believe there are teenagers out there who are as naive and stupid as "Mary Moe" and Xo-chitl Rios. Maybe it's tough standing up for what you believe in and not giving in to peer pressure, but it's not impossible.
Amie Dillman
Cypress, Calif.

I am angered by the distortions about my daughter in your article. The cynical disregard for the context of her life does not even hint at how our family worked together to get through difficult times. I agreed to let her speak thinking that her story and how she dealt with her problems might help others. Instead of the insightful and caring young woman that she is, you have portrayed someone we don't recognize. As she said, "That's not me in that article!" As a society, we are the poorer for your sensational and irresponsible exploitation of her honesty. Shame on you for missing the point!
Joanna Uribe de Mena
Berkeley, Calif.

Though no one can truly sum up a life in a few lines of type, we feel that our story was fair and accurate.
—ED.

CRIME
The horrific miscarriage of justice in the Donald Rogerson trial leaves one with the mistaken impression that life is cheap in Maine. I have not spoken to one person who agrees with the jury's decision. Please convey our sympathy to Kevin Wood and his family.
Evelyn Perkins
Yarmouth, Maine

Sending Donald Rogerson to jail would not have served any purpose, but the fact remains that he should have been found guilty. Perhaps a sentence of community service that included telling his story to hunters' safety classes would have made some sense.
Carrie L. Bradbury
Bridgewater, Maine

I cannot believe that Maine hunting laws would allow hunters with high-powered rifles in the vicinity of residential areas. I strongly suggest that the Wood family obtain a first-class lawyer and sue the state.
Robert J. Bennis
Glen Mills, Pa.

According to testimony at the trial, Donald Rogerson was using a powerful scope on his rifle. He also had a bucks-only permit, which meant that he was required to identify his target as a buck prior to firing the weapon. On his second shot, which killed Karen Wood, Rogerson identified only "two white flags." In Maine one must identify antlers at least three inches long to legally identify a buck. I am sincerely sorry for the way Karen Wood's family has been treated by some in the Bangor area. To blame the victim for her own killing is reprehensible.
Judith E. Brown
Bangor, Maine

I have a suggestion for Doug Brown about a town sign for Bangor. Why not something like WELCOME TO BEAUTIFUL BANGOR. LEARN HOW TO DRESS, OR BANG, YOU'RE DEAD!
Phyllis E. Mantia
Dayton, Ohio

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