Hey! Remember all the moral panic about jelly bracelets? Or “rainbow” parties? And remember how it was all kinda bogus? Well, looks like Colombia’s got a situation, and I’m sure hoping this one’s also bogus…because the outcome is no joke:
In Colombia there is a “game” that’s all the rage, which is also causing concern among adults, since the so-called “roulette” or “carrousel” is a “game” consisting of rounds in which the young men penetrate girls quickly, but whenever one of them ejaculates, he loses and drops out of the game.
The game is practically an orgy, and has parents and health authorities concerned, since pregnancies have begun to crop up among teenagers.
“It was a friend’s 15th birthday.* We were on a finca [large ranch estate] and we were drinking. When they put on music, we started dancing. We were about 10 people, and someone suggested we play “Carrousel” or “Roulette”, said one girl, 14 years old, who even at that young age is faced with the possibility of becoming a mother without knowing who is the father of her baby.
“The idea was to demonstrate who could hold out the longest, but I ever thought I could end up pregnant, because it didn’t take very long, it was just a game,” said the worried girl.
Luz Marina Peláez Vanegas, head of the Sexual Reproductive Health project of the Health Secretariat in Medellín, said that “we’ve been hearing of this kind of game for about a year, from pregnant girls. There are variations, but in essence these are group sexual relations, for the most part indiscriminate, and without the necessary protection. They happen principally at parties, fincas or places where there is no adult supervision.”
According to authorities in Medellín, 6,967 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 became pregnant last year; in 2011, it was 6,880 in the same age group.
The worrisome part is that 82.5% of these teenage pregnancies end in a clandestine abortion.
In Medellín, the percentage of pregnant girls with syphilis diagnosed and treated before the 17th week of pregnancy was 40.9 in 2012 and 42.3 in 2011. Also, during the past year, three cases of AIDS were diagnosed in pregnant girls.
82.5% of these pregnancies will end in a clandestine (read: illegal and highly unsafe) abortion. And just a little under half of all girls who become pregnant also have an STD? Yikes. Definitely do NOT try this at home, kiddies.
Or anywhere else, for that matter.
*15th birthday parties, or quinceañeras, are the Latin American equivalent of the North American “Sweet Sixteen”, and are considered a “rite of passage” birthday. Those who can afford to celebrate in style, tend to go all out…or go nuts.