There is a remarkable ignorance about sexuality among Chilean teenagers, as underscored by the paper by Fernández et al, published in this issue. The authors analyze the biological, psychological and social consequences of the lack of parental and school sexual education. Among them, there is an increasing incidence of unwanted pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases in teenagers. Child abuse, neglect, battering, mortality and maternal deprivation are more frequent among the offspring of teenage parents. School desertion caused by unwanted pregnancies will seriously jeopardize the education and training of these teenagers, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. (Rev Méd Chile 2000; 128: 571-3).