Masculinity Within The Hispanic / Latino Culture

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Machismo is a cultural construct which is associated with negative masculinity within the Hispanic/Latino culture. The terms popular definition can be defined as superiority of the male, male pride, and aggressive maleness (Hardin, 2002). The term originates from the word “macho” which refers to a man, a biological sense of maleness or a male animal. Traditions associate “macho” with fatherhood and an active male sexuality that gives pride to male superiority. Generally, men associate the term “macho” with a positive image and the sense of “being a man,” although the term is a reflection of the backward, rural and uneducated sectors of Mexico, it continues to be accepted in todays context (Ramirez, 2008). Machismo is a male dominant ideology that continues to exist because it continues to feed into Mexican traditions. The term is said to be a product of the Spanish conquest, the display of physical power and social domination over the indigenous influenced the behavior that is mimicked today. It is impossible to eradicate the male sexuality that was imposed over the millions of women who were raped and forced into the sublimation of Spanish conquistadores. Dismantling this complexity helps understand the culture that was developed and assimilated into Mexican traditions (Hardin, 2002). The traces of such history have created the building blocks for the justification of male superiority over females, its part of history and history is never forgotten. One of the many debates that seeks to justify male dominance states that the ideology is historical and we must follow traditions. For example, author Manuel Pena contributes to this ideology by stating that machismo can be justified as a class issue that has developed throughout... ... middle of paper ... ...ulture (Ruiz-Balsara, 2002). Data reveals that in Mexico, less girls attend school over boys by the age of 12. The data is consistent with the low numbers of girls enrolling in secondary school (Parker et al, 1999). Primary school enrollment seems to be equal, but after primary school girls begin to develop into adolescents, this where their roles shift and they begin to adapt to women roles. The Encuesta Nacional de la Juventud (2010) indicates that most adolescents are housewives, suggesting that the gender gap is related to cultural matters, such as early marriages and pregnancies. Figure 2 shows the large percentage of women who aren’t educated in contrast to men, although both (blue & red) are close in numbers there’s a larger amount of women who are uneducated and uemployed (red) meaning that the majority are housewives and are fulfilling the roles of women.
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