Tip: To refine your search with the author’s first initial…
PEP-Web Tip of the Day
If you get a large number of results after searching for an article by a specific author, you can refine your search by adding the author’s first initial. For example, try writing “Freud, S.” in the Author box of the Search Tool.
For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.
Goldwert, M. (1985). Mexican Machismo: The Flight from Femininity. Psychoanal. Rev., 72(1):161-169.
(1985). Psychoanalytic Review, 72(1):161-169
Mexican Machismo: The Flight from Femininity
Marvin Goldwert, Ph.D.
There are many ways by which the adult male copes with feelings of femininity and bisexuality. Denial, reaction formation, and sublimation are among the common mechanisms of defense against bisexuality. In the case of the Mexican macho,denial and reaction formation are the mechanisms by which he represses feelings of femininity. To ward off these feelings, the macho assumes the role of virile he-man and daring man-of-action. Such role-playing is the product of both historical forces and family conditioning, and these will be the theme of this paper.
The denial of bisexuality, or the flight from femininity, is at the core of Mexican machismo, the cult of male virility so typical of Spanish America's history and culture. Indeed, it may be argued that all of Spanish American culture-typified by hypermasculine machos and hyperfeminine marianas-is built on a denial of bisexuality. This psychological undercurrent is the product of both historical and family conditioning.
Mexican history, the story of a mestizosociety, was forged in what sociologist Salvador Reyes Nevares (1970) calls “metaphysical bisexuality.” During the conquest, the Spanish conquistadors played the role of active, masculine intruders who raped the passive/feminine Indian civilization. In conquest the Spaniards, the first machos, demonstrated an almost superhuman will to overcome obstacles and a supreme indifference to difficulties. They personified the male of fabulous qualities, tainted by the violence which has since underpinned human relations in Spanish America. Valiant, cruel, indefatigable, courageous, villainous, and running the gamut of extremes in Spanish character, the conquistador literally raped the Indian civilization.
[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]