Abstract: (WITHDRAWN) Traditional Masculinities in Mexico: The Role of Parental Physical Punishment, Religiosity, and Spirituality (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

All live presentations are in Eastern time zone.

329P (WITHDRAWN) Traditional Masculinities in Mexico: The Role of Parental Physical Punishment, Religiosity, and Spirituality

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
* noted as presenting author
Natasha Bowen, PhD, Professor, College of Social Work, Columbus, OH
BACKGROUND & PURPOSE: Concepts of gender refer largely to how a society constructs gender (social attributes and opportunities) and how expectations, norms, and traditional institutions (family, school, religion) prescribe particular gender roles. One of the important and widely misunderstood concepts in interpreting gendered behavior in Latin America is machismo. This concept is often related to negative male characteristics and behaviors, such as hypermasculinity, aggressiveness, violence, and sexism. However, scholars have redefined this conception identifying two dimensions of traditional masculinities: negative (Machismo) and “positive” (Caballerismo or chivalry). Using Arciniega et al. (2008)’s Machismo Scale, religiosity and spirituality scales, and Strauss and Fauchier (2007)’s Dimensions of Disciplines, this study seeks to: a) assess the prevalence of parental physical punishment, religiosity, spirituality, and traditional masculinities by gender, and b) understand the influence of this attributes on machismo and caballerismo.

METHODS: A stratified and proportional sample by school, gender, and number of students from undergraduate programs of two public Mexican universities was employed. Two data collections were collected for each university (U1#1 N=675; U1 #2 N=402; U2 #1 N=575; U2 #2 N=491; Grand Total Sample: N=2,143; 46.7% female, 53.3% male; M=19.7; SD=2.2). The survey instrument was translated from English into Spanish by bilingual researchers in the United States and pilot tested in Nicaragua. Descriptive statistics were employed to gauge levels of parental physical punishment, spirituality, religiosity, and the endorsement of traditional masculinities. Independent samples T-test and chi-square tests were used to assess gender differences regarding the attributes analyzed. We used Mplus 7.4 and a recommended sequence of analysis steps to determine two Structural Equation Outcome Models (Machismo and Chivalry) across two samples of university students (male and female). Since the items on the outcome scales are ordinal, we used a recommended weighted least squares means and variance (WLSMV) adjusted estimator to determine the associations.

RESULTS: Significant differences were observed in terms of Parental Physical Punishment between female and male students, In all cases, the discipline was exercised higher in male than in female students. Regarding the variables associated with machismo for male students Religion was positively associated with higher endorsement of Machismo from the fathers’ perspective and Physycal Punishment and Religion from the mothers’ perspective. Spirituality was positively associated with caballerismo from the fathers and mothers’ perspectives.

CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: Understanding cultural patterns is an important component of social work education, intervention, and research. This study illuminates a complex aspect of the Latin American culture, analyzing the prevalence of physical punishment, religion and spirituality, and their association with the endorsement of traditional masculinities (Machismo and Caballerismo). More importantly, this study suggests the positive relationship among physical punishment and religion on machismo, and spirituality on caballerismo for male students. These preliminary associations between traditional masculinities, religion, spirituality and physical punishment have important implications for social work programs, specifically for interventions seeking to increase the empowerment of women and change stereotypes about masculinity and feminism associated with health outcomes in Latin America and perhaps others patriarchal cultures around the globe.