Opinion: When jokes feed into “hyper-sexual Latino” stereotypes

NBC Latino

The exchange between Mexican actor Diego Luna and Conan O’Brien on the Tonight Show illustrates how Latinos often reaffirm stereotypes that are damaging to the community, particularly among Latinas.

During the interview, Mr. Luna and O’Brien talked about the changing demographics of the country and how speaking Spanish would be a necessity in the future. Luna said, “47 million people speak Spanish today and we like having sex, so multiply that [by] eight…” and you get the picture of where the country is headed.

It was an unfortunate quip in an otherwise funny conversation, but it underscored that even Latinos succumb to believing that we are hyper-sexual beings by virtue of our ethnicity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the teenage pregnancy rate remains two times higher than the rate for non-Hispanic teens in 2011. But does this mean Latinos are more sexual than others? Not likely.

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