REPORTAJE: Tomas Munita for The New York Times
Catalina Arias, 16, and Karim Davis, 17, kissing in a bus stand in Santiago. "Chile’s youth are clearly having sex earlier and testing the borderlines with their sexual conduct," said Dr. Ramiro Molina, director of the University of Chile’s center for Adolescent Reproductive Medicine and Development.
The sexual awakening is happening through a booming industry for 18-and-under-parties and an explosion of Internet connectivity, where kids trade suggestive photos of each other and organize weekend parties, some of which have drawn more than 4,000 teenagers. Left, Camilo Cepada, 18, fixes his hair as friends surf the Internet and check their fotologs.
Maria Paz, 13, waits with her friends to enter an afternoon party in Santiago. The online world carries over to the parties, where teenagers go to discover the physical side of their digital flirtations.
Girls on a bus on their way to an afternoon party. Promoters use photo-sharing Web sites and instant messaging services to organize the weekend gatherings and invite the most popular teens online to attend the parties as paid V.I.P.s.
Christopher Lizama, 21, smokes during an afternoon party in Santiago. Alcohol is not allowed at the parties, and cigarettes are not sold — though smoking is widespread. Security guards monitor bathrooms and regularly throw out boys whose groping crosses the line.
About 800 teenagers at an afternoon party sway and bounce to lyrics imploring them to "Poncea! Poncea!" — or make out with as many people as they can.
And make out they do, with stranger after stranger. Partygoers compete for the honor of being known as the "ponceo," the one who pairs up the most.
“Chile’s youth are clearly having sex earlier and testing the borderlines with their sexual conduct,” said Dr. Ramiro Molina, director of the University of Chile’s Center for Adolescent Reproductive Medicine and Development.
The parents of most adolescents today never received formal sex education, and sex education materials were destroyed during Gen. Augusto Pinochet's rule. A new sex curriculum was introduced in 1993, but sexual educators say they are struggling to keep up with the avalanche of sex information on the Internet.
A portrait of Ludwig Van Beethoven looms over an afternoon party in Santiago.
(ver la publicación original en: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/09/09/world/20080913CHILE_index.html)