SANTIAGO, Chile, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Chile, long known as a morally conservative nation, is experiencing a sexual revolution among its teenagers, social watchers and participants note.
One of the popular dance club activities among the 14- to 18-year-old set these days is "poncea," which means to make out with as many people as possible, the Latin American Post reported Wednesday. The sexual activity ranges from kissing to groping to intercourse, participants told the newspaper.
Youths also have taken to the Internet to connect with other like-minded teens.
"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.
Michele Bravo, 17, says it has to do with today's youth being "the children of democracy," "not the children of the dictatorship."
"There is much more freedom to explore everything," she said.
That's a big change in a country that legalized divorce in 2004 and still has a strict ban on abortion. The country struggles with sex education and the pregnancy rate among girls under 15 is up, the Health Ministry says.
Mario Munoz, the 20-year-old co-owner of a company that organizes some of the larger 18-and-under parties, said monogamous relationships are much less common these days.
"There are very few kids having serious relationships," he said.