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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