Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephenLurieMD PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor
In Reply: The responses to our article encompass
several positions ultimately supporting our basic points. Despite widespread
discussion of the specific meaning of certain sexual verbal expressions, Dr
Burland and Dr Turner suggest it is well-known that people select their words
to "protect them and rationalize their behavior" and, for young people at
least, "‘having sex' means whatever they want it (or need it) to mean."
The statement that our article "adds nothing new," belies the recent controversy
among political pundits, media experts, and their audiences, each insisting
their conflicting definitions represent the generally held meaning of particular
sexual phrases. Although Burland seems to dismiss the potential general applicability
of our findings regarding variations in definitions of "having sex," he otherwise
suggests that "situational definitions" of sexual terms "can be used by adolescents
of all ages."
Reinisch JM, Sanders SA. Attitudes Toward and Definitions of Having Sex—Reply. JAMA. 1999;282(20):1916-1919. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-20-jbk1124