Perspectives on feminine cultural gender role values from Latina leaders and community residents

Nazanin Mina Heydarian, University of Texas at El Paso


Marianismo and machismo are gender values prescribed to women and men respectively within Latino cultures. Characteristics associated with these gender values can be pro- or anti-social. Individuals, regardless of their own sex, self-identify with characteristics prescribed to both genders. There is little research examining how Latinos conceptualize and self-identify with both marianismo and machismo. The present study contributes to the literature by classifying how Latina leaders and non-leader community residents describe characteristics associated with marianismo and machismo. I identified characteristics of marianismo and machismo and their associated pro- and anti-social dimensions by means of a thematic analysis. The following characteristics were identified: 1) Taking care of and providing for the family “(familismo);” 2) being loving, generous, supportive, and caring, (virtuous); 3) having “good manners” and being approachable “(simpatia);” 4) being “strong/powerful/influential” (externally empowered); and 5) being confident, proud, and self-respecting (internally empowered). Some participants self-identified or did NOT self-identify with the five major characteristics. Leaders and community residents differed in the content of their descriptions of the five characteristics. There was no differentiation between pro-social marianista or macho characteristics, thus I concluded that the constructs of marianismo and machismo can be linked via pro-social characteristics. Future directions, including behavioral health implications, and quantitative measure development, are discussed.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Gender studies|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Heydarian, Nazanin Mina, "Perspectives on feminine cultural gender role values from Latina leaders and community residents" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10000774.