I nearly spit out my scones in shock when I came across this article. The piece from sciencedaily.com begins with this troubling sentence:
“A University of Illinois researcher advises caution when trying to characterize gender roles and sexual behavior among this country’s Latino adolescents and young adults.”
This seems to imply that people of color cannot be lumped into broad, general descriptions. If this is the case (and btw, it took a PhD level researcher to say so) that means that being a coconut just got harder.
The article is titled: “Are Latino Teens Sexual Risk Takers? It’s Complicated, Researcher Says.” Now, nevermind that teens are sexual risk takers, this article seems to be trying to debunk the fact that Latino teens are running rampant through the streets with their pants down.
What’s happened to our Latin lovers??
And worse. Without the Latin lover image to fight against, what are budding young coconuts to do to differentiate themselves from the pack?
The article continues:
“…For one thing, Latinos represent more than 20 different groups, and they live in very different situations in the United States.”
Wait, what? Gosh dangit, the whole Coconut handbook is going to need to be rewritten now.
“So what do we know about Latino sexuality and risk taking among teenagers? For one thing, no one really knows how much the traditional gender role attributes of machismo and marianismo — idealizing the Virgin Mary — actually influence today’s Latino adolescents.”
I know this may sound like a crucial blow. The article is asserting here that your average Latino isn’t necessarily crouched in front of their home altar begging Mary for forgiveness. Ay dios, mio, we’re going to have to find some other way for you guys to not seem so Mexicany.
Though, take comfort in this. This article is under the heading “Science News” meaning that this is new, emerging information, and therefore potentially either a trend that will pass or a norm that not many people yet realize. So there’s still time to enjoy your frittata and claret instead of your taco and sangria and keep the self hate alive.