Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic


  • Marysol Asencio
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_475

The Spanish term machismo is a common reference to Latino masculinity, in particular, the gender construction of extreme traditional masculinity or of the characteristic of the “true” man (“macho”) in Latin American and Caribbean societies. The term is commonly employed within Latina/o communities inside and outside of the USA to refer to such males or the behaviors associated with those males. It has been theorized as a form of masculinity derived from the Spanish conquistadores. The complementary gender construct for Latin American women is referred to as marianismo.

While the term machismo has become part of the lexicon of lay people and social scientists, the exact definition, associated decontextualized characteristics, and applicability to most Latino men, is a matter of debate. Some researchers have noted that the initial social science descriptions and focus on machismo were obtained from particular populations of Latin American men and then simplified and generalized through...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Andrade, A. R. (1992). Machismo: A universal malady. Journal of American Culture, 5(4), 33–41.Google Scholar
  2. Asencio, M. (1999). Machos and sluts: Gender, sexuality and violence among a cohort of Puerto Rican youths. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 13(1), 107–126.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. De La Cancela, V. (1993). “Coolin”: The psychosocial communication of African and Latino men. Urban League Review, 16(2), 33–44.Google Scholar
  4. González-López, G. (2004). Fathering Latina sexualities: Mexican men and the virginity of their daughters. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 66, 1118–1130.Google Scholar
  5. Jeffries, W. L. (2009). A comparative analysis of homosexual behaviors, sex role preferences, and anal sex proclivities in Latino and non-Latino men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 765–778.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Saez, P. A., Casado, A., & Wade, J. C. (2009). Factors influencing masculinity ideology among Latino men. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 17(2), 116–128.Google Scholar
  7. Torres, J. B., Solberg, V. S. H., & Carlstrom, A. H. (2002). The myth of sameness among Latino men and their machismo. The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 72, 163–181.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marysol Asencio
    • 1
  1. 1.The Institute of Puerto Rican and Latino StudiesThe University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA