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Smith College

Publication Date

Spring 2004

Program Name

Chile: Culture, Development, and Social Justice


This paper explores contemporary sexuality in Chile, through an analysis of the institutionalized rules and regulations, comprised of the many laws and regulations determined by Chile’s governing bodies and embodied by the words and actions of State Officials, and the police force: los Carabineros; to the societal norms and collective values, which include the position of the Catholic Church, the media, and the sociological investigations which analyze Chile’s collective understandings and dominant discourses, determining what is acceptable within the realm of sex and sexuality, and what is not. Additionally, this paper seeks to understand the efforts of the many organizations and individuals whose personal realities and collective actions aim to change the standards, so they more comprehensively reflect the diversity of sexualities and experiences of all Chileans. Using the ethnographic tools of first-hand observation and formal and informal interviews, it appears that the women’s movement and gay movement are both working on changing sexual politics, behaviors and options within Chile, yet it appears that within these two groups, the voices of Chile’s lesbians and bisexual woman are not being heard. This paper examines how this has occurred and why, and concludes with some possible ideas for the future inclusion of this invisible and silenced Chilean minority.


Gender and Sexuality


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