TEENAGE ANGST; Confused by the youth of today? Then let our panel of teenagers be your guide...

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The Independent Culture
`I overheard my son, who's 16, bragging to his friends about multiple sexual conquests. I'm reeling, but his father says it's probably all lies. What do you think?'

Jackie Shaw, Exeter

Leoni Bunch, 15: A 16-year-old bragging to friends about sexual experience? Yeah, right, and I shagged Joe Bloggs last night.

Max Hart-Walsh, 13: All teenagers have to boast about something. You shouldn't be too worried, unless the conversation has something to do with mail-order brides. Then worry.

Holly Arup, 15: Well, it's most likely lies because guys are like that a lot, I think. But, I mean, to be honest, if he's 16, then it's legal, right? So there shouldn't be a problem. Anyway, I'm not the person to ask, as I totally don't understand boys these days.

Jess Seldon, 17: It's all lies.

Alex Ward, 17: Depends on the context. He knows that he'll look very stupid if his supposed partners deny all knowledge of the event. This either means he's telling the truth, or he has invented a mythical, intangible yet perfect woman who is unable, for one reason or another to get to know his friends. In any case, I wouldn't be too worried. Teenagers are very thoroughly sex-educated nowadays.

Zenobe Reade, 17: I think that at this point it is pertinent to congratulate yourselves as parents. You have succeeded in raising an articulate, honest son who, most importantly of all, has respected the laws of our land and waited until he reached the legal age of consent before broadcasting and probably partaking in sexual exploits.

Ellie Veryard, 15: Whether they're true or not depends on what kind of person he is. Either way the "conquests" will be highly exaggerated, especially if he's bragging to people who he thinks could have done better than him.

Kim Sanderson, 16: If I were you, I'd be more worried about the bragging than the shagging. After all, a gentleman never tells. If there's a lesson to be learnt, it's probably that you listen in to your teenager's conversations at your peril. And yes, it probably is all lies. Well, most of it.

Joe Hall, 15: It's amazing how a snog can turn into a "conquest". Just chill about it. And you have had that really embarrassing sex talk with him, haven't you?

Send your questions to teenageangst@independent.co.uk

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