Essay on Gender Roles and Sexuality in Latin America

Essay on Gender Roles and Sexuality in Latin America

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Marianismo and machismo are the traditional gender roles in Latin America. Marianismo is the aspect of female gender roles while machismo is the aspect of male gender roles. The key belief of machismo is that men hold supremacy over women. For the most part these gender roles conform to traditional understanding of sexuality, masculinity, and femininity. There is only one key contradiction I found when it came to traditional understandings of sexuality, masculinity and femininity. Some people may confuse the meanings of gender, sex, and sexuality. Gender is what a person chooses to define themselves as: masculine or feminine. Sex is biological: male or female. Sexuality is then defined as the expression of sexual interest. These three words connect to one another.

The marianismo gender role beliefs vary depending on where one is located. Marianismo beliefs influence what women see as “appropriate female behavior” (Craske, 1999, p. 12). Stereotypes of women are created which have stuck to what is ‘appropriate’ for what women can and cannot do. It is out of the normalcy for women to not follow these marianismo beliefs. It is obvious that motherhood is found as the ultimate role for women. Though it would make sense that men have fatherhood is not the ultimate role for men (even though both man and woman are needed to create a child) this is not the case at all. Another key marianismo belief Craske (2002) found was that women are “dominant in the private world of domestic organization,” while men are dominant in the public sector (p. 11). This is important to know because women lived very secluded lifestyles. This exclusive lifestyle connects to how Catholic women in Latin America had greater transgressions than men when it came...

... middle of paper ...

...nder that isn’t their true one because they cross-dress.

In the end gender roles and sexuality typically do hold a connection. The connection may differ depending on the country or the people involved, but the connection still does exist. Individuals also choose to practice sexuality in different forms. Each form connects to masculinity and femininity in a unique manor. Therefore the connection between the two terms (gender roles and sexuality) is present.

Works Cited

Chant, S., & Craske, N. (2002). Gender and Sexuality. In Gender in Latin America (pp. 128-160). Retrieved December 9, 2013

Craske, N. (1999). Women and Political Identity in Latin America. In Women and Politics in Latin America (First ed., pp. 9-25). N.p.: Rutgers University Press.

Mignolo, W. D. (2005). The Idea of Latin America (pp. 1-94). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

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