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September 14, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Chile’s precocious teens cast aside sexual taboos” via International Herald Tribune.

Chileans are plugged into the Internet at higher rates than other South Americans, and the highest use is among children 6 to 17. Therein lies a key factor in the country’s newfound sexual exploration, said Miguel Arias, a psychologist with another Santiago consulting firm, Divergente.

Fotolog, a photo-sharing network created in the United States, came to this country barely two years ago. Today Chile, which has a population of 16 million, has 4.8 million Fotolog accounts, more than any other country, the company says. Again, children 12 to 17 hold more than 60 percent of the accounts.

Party promoters use Fotolog, as well as MSN Messenger, to organize their weekend gatherings, inviting Fotolog stars – the site’s most popular users, based on the number of comments they get – to help publicize the parties and attend as paid VIPs. Many of the teenage partygoers use their online nicknames exclusively.

Arias did a study of the Fotolog phenomenon, scrutinizing the kinds of photos the teenagers are posting, even the angles and distances of the pictures – all of which are part of an “identifiable” language, he said. “The kids of today are expressing their sexuality in erotic ways for the whole world to see,” Arias said.

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