Civil Liberties

Argentine laws grants many freedoms, although they are not always observed. For instance, while freedom of the press is granted, the government limits anti-government literature. So, while Argentine teenagers technically have freedom of press, they cannot speak out completely freely against the government.

A similar situation occurs in relation to freedom of religion. Argentineans are technically granted freedom of religion, however, the nation has strong ties to the Catholic Church, reinforced by the nation’s constitution. As a result, people of other religions are often not treated equally. For instance, the 250,000 Jews in Argentina, the largest population of Jews in Latin America, are a frequent target of anti-Semitism and discrimination from the people as well as the government. One specific example: the famous AMIA bombing in 1994, where five men bombed the Jewish Argentine Mutual Association; however, ten years later in court, none of the men were convicted.

Education System

Education is free and compulsory for 10 years, beginning at age 5. As a result of the accessible schooling, 95% of the country is literate.

Nationwide school uniforms are mandatory; the uniforms are similar to white laboratory coats, and they are worn over regular clothes.

When students arrive at school, they must raise the Argentinean flag and sing the national anthem.

Academic freedom is largely observed. In secondary school, students are allowed to choose their general fields of study.

The school curriculum includes science, mathematics, languages, art, history, sports and geography.

Government Granted “Rights of Age”

The minimum drinking age in Argenitna is 18.

The minimum suffrage age is 18, and voting is compulsory.

The minimum driving age is 18, and speed limits are often not enforced.

In Argentina, teenagers are free to smoke and 30% of all Argentinean smokers started before age 11. However, because tobacco causes over 40,000 deaths per year in the country, the government is taking action against tobacco. National Law 23344, passed on 29 August 1986, created restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotion, as well as required the production of warning labels on cigarette packs.

Argentina does not employ conscription.

Health, Sexuality, and Dating Habits

It is accepted for teenage boys to play “exploratory games” with other boys, and for girls to explore with other girls in homoerotic ways.

Sexual education in Argentina is, on the whole, extremely weak. While teenagers may be aware that STI’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections) exist, the information is quite incomplete. For instance, teens are warned about syphilis and gonorrhea and know that they can be cured easily, but, however, they are unaware that these diseases make the body more susceptible to the AIDS virus. In Latin America, Argentina ranks fourth after Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, in the number of people affected with HIV. Teenagers are especially affected: according to the studies of Eduardo Lopez, the Chief of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Hospital Gutierrez, 20 percent of HIV-positive mothers in Argentina are 15 to 19 years old.

The strong connection to the Catholic Church stifles gay acceptance. Others still believe that homosexuals are the reason for the AIDS epidemic, and, as a result, feel that homosexuals are not deserving of equal rights. While at a younger age it is viewed as acceptable to engage in homoerotic behavior, in the later teenage years, one is expected to be straight.

Also due to the strong influence of the Catholic Church, women are not allowed to have abortions. Any woman who is not mentally deranged and has an abortion may be sent to prison. However, abortion rates are still high because of the loose enforcement of the abortion laws, despite the injunction on abortions. Usually, the police only enforce abortion rules after a woman has died as a result of an unprofessionally performed abortion.

Dating usually starts around 15, when girls celebrate their quinciniera (15th birthay), considered the “end of childhood.”

Sources Used:















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  7. There was no information.

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