Determination of Man's Role in Latin America

Topics: Gender, Sociology, Masculinity Pages: 4 (1474 words) Published: May 28, 2005
Determination of Man's Role in Latin America
How society describes what is meant by a man's role is an important definition in every culture. What is right or wrong for men to do in terms of behavior depends on each community, and on people's own perceptions. Latin American culture has a strict set of values on sexual issues, reflecting a man's role in society. For all of the communities in Latin America there exists a relation between a man's role and machismo. The exaggerated sense of manliness that machismo stands for is evident by parents when raising their male children, and by communities and their expectations. Machismo represents a culture of traditions indeed, but how does machismo define the role of a man in his society? XY is the chromosome formula for a male. Providing these two chromosomes will give the sexual differentiation that causes a man to be a man instead of a woman. However, psychological, social, and cultural factors that have nothing to do with genetics are important to determine man's role, and to cultivate the sense of masculinity. Masculinity is a process of learning. No child is born a man, so children learn to become men. One example of this are the "wild children" of the nineteenth century whose sexual preference was ambiguous. Victor de l'Aveyron and Gaspar Hauser grew up without any human contact. For them there was no difference between men and women. A simple definition for masculinity could be the opposite of femininity. What is meant by this simple definition expresses what is demanded for being a man. It must be proof of that sense of masculinity, it "must be acquired, and at a high price" (Badinter 2). Characteristics such as success, power, control and strength are demanded for masculinity. Masculinity in Latin America goes further than just demanding it. The symbol of masculinity and male sexuality comes from the definition of machismo. Labels and categories are used in order to understand...

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Badinter, Elisabeth. XY on Masculine Identity. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.
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Krohn-Hansen, Christian. "Masculinity and the Political among Dominicans: ‘The Dominican Tiger '." Machos, Mistresses, Madonnas. Ed. Marit Melhuus. New York: Verso, 1996.
"Physical abuse against women by an intimate partner." United Nations Statistics Division. 2003. United Nations. Nov 27 2004.
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