Gender Roles and Sexuality in Latin America Essay

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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 …show more content…
134). Women wouldn’t be able to leave in the evenings, nor go out with friend; making it nearly impossible for wives to partake in relationships outside of the one with their husband. The females in Latin America lived lives that conformed strictly to their typical gender roles.

The main belief for machismos is that they are superior to women. The machismo gender roles consider men as the “breadwinners” (Craske, 1999, p. 11) because they (men) tend to bring in the most income. They do the work in the outside world that is in the public’s eyes. The word machismo can also hold a negative connotation towards men such as men participating in activities such as “excessive drinking, domestic violence, insistence on a large family to indicate virility, and the demand that a wife stay at home to concentrate on family life and be a ‘good woman’” (Craske, 1999, p. 11). Chant and Craske even compared men to being children and women to being treated like children. These are brutal descriptions of men. Yet they seem to be true for the most part. Men definitely help superiority over women; I believe this mainly happened because of fear. Women were afraid they would be sent to a life in exile if they broke social normalcy.

After defining the gender roles of man and woman I was able to find the conforming and contradicting traditional understandings of femininity and masculinity in Latin America. These forms of sexuality include

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