Gender Roles with Latin/ Hispanic: Society or Family

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Within the Latin culture there are boundaries and limitations of expected gender roles for the females and males. Needless to say, these gender roles are often witnessed from a young age for Latin females and males within their home. Latinos who are less acculturated tend to embrace these gender specific ideologies about marriage, family and that the significant others have the final say within the marriage relationship(Molina and Alcntara,2013).For decades prior, society placed these stereotypical demeanors upon female’s and their responsibilities that are not limited yet are subjective to child bearing and daily household task while, as for the males, they often have greater education achievements and tend to be financial facilitators for the family (Updegraff et al., 2014). Not to mention, if the female has more free time than the male, it is assumed for her to complete more household duties (Lam, McHale and Updegraff, 2012). Gender roles within American society often are similar to the Latin culture but tend to lose some distinction as the nuclear family develops. However, American society regarding gender roles have become somewhat of a blended approach regarding specific gender roles at home in the latter years. Where men are stepping up to tend to children and completing household task and where the females are now becoming apart of the background due to increase in employment status or furthering education that keeping them from being at home.

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Herein this study, we want to know if society impacts gender roles and if they differ between generations within the Latin/Hispanic culture or are gender roles still prevalent between generations within the Latin/Hispanic culture. Wanting to see if the gender roles regarding the nuclear family are still as strong as the generations of Latin/Hispanic descendants become for Americanized from outside the home. Past research from with the Latin community focuses more so on the acculturation of the individuals with society yet fail to provide more insight on generational aspect of the family dynamics. Before we can evaluate the entirety, we wanted to start at the higher part of the totem pole within the family structure, the grandparents and work downwards from there to see if there are any distinct similarities between each generation and gender roles. Most of what families know as far as, beliefs come from the matriarchs of the family, the grandparents. The grandparents are the ones who set the blue print for what is to be followed.

From an article by Agnieszka Lasota ( 2014), the author studied the development perspective from grandparents and children by transmission of knowledge, values and skills at the nucleus family level. The study had a total of 160 participants with ranging from pre-school to middle adulthood. The study concluded that the grandparents transmit more traditions, culture and historical knowledge to grandchildren while the parents transmits specific skills and moral norms to the children. Overall, the study did help equate some insight regarding what grandparents bring to the family dynamic. Needless to say, the study gave an ambiguous conclusion considering any roles in particular they may transmit to the children, stating that family members assume the role given to them by what the family expects the individuals to satisfy the needs of the family, whether it is cooking, cleaning or teaching the younger generations how to ride a bike. We would do an injustice, if we failed to provide certain components that categorize the different levels of family dynamics. Keep in mind, generational status can be defined as: first generation can refer to an individual who is the spent a majority of their lives in a different country, who in there for migrated to the United States. Second generation can refer to an individual who emigrated at an early age with one or both parents and have grown up majority of their lives in the United States. Third generation can refer to an individual being born in the United States. The generational factors can provide evidence of culture comprehension for the family dynamics. Correlations between family interactions and generational status could transpire how the we interpret gender roles amongst the family(Chang, Chen & Natsuaki, 2013).

First generation Latino Americans demonstrate above average levels on family cohesiveness whereas though third generation Latino Americans demonstrate larger levels of family quarrels (Chang, Chen & Natsuaki, 2013). For example, Tayna Nieri and Moncia Bermudez-Parsai published an article in 2014 regarding the parent and child acculturation and how their can be differences in gaps for the family. The article gives more positive reflections on acculturation on a macro level within the Latin culture. The data collected was from group of thirty immigrant participants and a total of sixty interviews given. The participants from 18 years of age to 39 years of age and have lived at least ten years in the United States. The results conclude that the parents interpreted that their Latin culture roots are something vital for their children to know while the children perception of their own culture is something they have no choice to know due to the results of their parents demonstrating through the types of food eaten, music, specific holidays celebrated.

Yet, the children participants reiterate that without the guidance from the parents by instilling their Latin culture upon them, they would not have a sense of closeness and camaraderie with their parents. Admit that they want to have that sort of dynamic with their own children someday. There are numerous study conducted similar to this article yet none them give direct insight to if acculturation is the only effect on the family dynamics. Not saying that past research is meaningless because it is relevant to future studies such as mine when determining gender roles within the nucleus family. I have to know where we have been in order to change the future and purse alternate research such as regarding the generational component to add to future research. Moving on to the parents and the family dynamics, the parents are the ones the children see on a daily basis. The article, The Second Shift Reflected in the Second Generation: Do Parents’ Gender Roles at Home Predict Children’s Aspirations, were it studied gender inequality at home and how it restricts gender equality at work. It reports that women still are at an injustice because the majority of wives are left with unpaid domestic labor at home. Assuming that these domestic labors are still in fact cleaning and maintain the home and child care. (Croft, Schmader, Block & Baron, 2014). In the past females have been linked with lessen career aspirations, decrease in job earnings and lower levels of education in adulthood (Updegraff et al., 2014).

A study regarding parental favoritism, argues that mothers of the family are more often, than not viewed as the explicit caregiver for children. Especially toward female offspring, which lead to deep- seated perspectives from the offspring and mothers than with the vice versus with the fathers. Which can precede to have significant pressure placed upon female offspring rather than male offspring that can create damaging effects on the psychological well-being and rapport between siblings (Gilligan, Suitor, Kim and Pillemer, 2013). The most common and often associated with the Latin culture is machismo belief, in tells are masculine norms that males attribute too. As the male role as the head of the household and celebrate their supremacy and sexual virility.This where the belief can become damaging to the adolescents’ upbringing because if the child only sees the father go to work and come home when dinner is ready, their image is skewed and the foundation for differential placements for gender roles is born. The child However, the fathers are viewed as having active involvement later on in the offspring’s adulthood (Gilligan, Suitor, Kim and Pillemer, 2013). Male spouses state that household duties tend to be seen as uninteresting and tedious, that if they have to complete them, they would rather do tasks that are appealing to them in order to complete them. Believe that since they more socioeconomic resources they have the authority to buy themselves out of these duties (Lam, McHale and Updegraff, 2012)

Maricansimo is yet another cultural value which is depicted as obedience and virtues for the females to abide by toward the family. For example, where both parents work outside the home and if the parents are deficient in speaking the English language, families stereotypically choose the female adolescents to increase the household duties, act a interpreters for the parents and to take care of younger siblings. (Lam, McHale & Updegraff, 2012) Lastly, the children and their knowledge of these gender roles within the home setting. With children, the initial and primary teachers are the parents, where parents prove to be a crucial component for their children ethic identity development (Kim, B?maca-Colbert, Jian, Gonzales-Backen, 2017). Yet, female adolescents demonstrate more stereotypical gender role beliefs where women do complete more domestic roles at home compared to males (Croft, Schmader, Block & Baron, 2014). Not to mention, male adolescents report more work-focus tasks than what the female adolescent report, in which were more family-focus tasks (Croft, Schmader, Block & Baron, 2014). Females are often receiving the short end of the stick per se within the Latin community. Latin females are not enrolling in post-secondary education compared to other ethnic backgrounds. Some reasoning behind that can be that Latin parents expect their children to place the family needs over the induvial need. Therefore, giving females a pulling sensation in numerous directions concerning expectations education performance and family involvement. Causing females to experience a depilating desire to complete higher education (Sy and Romero, 2008). The term, familismo, which can be interpreted as family closeness and loyalty to the family. It can entail to be asked to forfeit their own personal desires for the greater good of the family.

Males tend to have decrease occupation and educational ambitions as adolescent but have greater job earning in adulthood (Updegraff et al., 2014). Males as well, are the Yet, the familismo concept does not just vanish with other generations, in fact, are still common for second and third generations Latin families. Suggesting that the children of these immigrants are nevertheless, partaking and raising their children with the equivalent belief (Sy and Romero, 2008). So as the millennials trailblaze into creating careers and starting families, one can wonder if there are altering the past of gender roles within their own nuclear families or are the gender roles staying the same with in the families. As I am a part of that generation, I question my own expectations because I have as well not changed the expectations of gender roles with my own nuclear family and home. Current research by Ramirez, Oshin & Milan published an article in 2017, in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, where they evaluated such values, beliefs and practices with Latin mother’s future socialization goals for their own daughters. This study gives great insight for what Latin mother still, like practice traditional gender roles for their daughters to abide by. The article states, the Latino parents parenting behaviors differentiates with their daughters and sons.

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Gender Roles with Latin/ Hispanic: Society or Family. (2019, Apr 26). Retrieved March 20, 2023 , from

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