Gender and Machismo

7 July 2016

Machismo is a cultural ideal that determines many characteristics of Latin American male behavior, which structures interactions with women and other men. In terms of machismo, males have an extensive and almost uncontrollable sexual drive, and it is their right to satisfy that desire in the ways they choose. They can demonstrate their masculinity by having affairs and having illegitimate children.

In contrast, female sexuality is seen as an object over which the male always has control. Females are expected to have only one sexual partner, none before or outside of marriage. Women are the ones who are humble and self-sacrificing toward their children and family (Sanabria, 2007). Machismo sexual behavior is a source of pride for males and men must prove their manliness by upholding their sexual dominance. In this way, reputation is one of the driving forces behind machismo.

Gender and Machismo Essay Example

The overemphasis on sociosexual reputation explains why males often act in socially safer yet physically more risky ways. The men are taught at a very young age to be manly and end up raising their own children the same way. Men do not reveal their true feelings to anyone as proof of their manhood. A man is never to let someone question, criticize or attempt to ruin their manliness and let alone reveal his feelings to anyone because of the fear that they could somehow be able to take advantage of them.

Studies of Latino Masculinity ideology or machismo have identified a syndrome of maladaptive characteristics, harmful to those who endorse macho personality traits and to others around them. One study described the macho personality constellation, or machismo, as a primarily Hispanic phenomenon with three defining characteristics: callous sexuality toward women, a perception of violence as manly, and the view that danger is exciting (Saez, Casado, & Wade, 2009).

Machismo is still evident in the Latino culture. It is still present in our culture in the community here. It has definitely been passed down generations. It is more prominent in the older generations. Men still engage in risky behavior and violence towards women. Many men still have trouble expressing their emotions. I have seen machismo in others parents, children, and in friends.

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