Sex Roles

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 287-299

First online:

Gender Socialization in Latino/a Families: Results from Two Retrospective Studies

  • Marcela RaffaelliAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology and Institute for Ethnic Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln Email author 
  • , Lenna L. OntaiAffiliated withDepartment of Human and Community Development, University of California – Davis

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In this article, we present findings from 2 studies designed to explore gender-related socialization in Latino/a families. In Study 1, 22 adult Latinas (ages 20–45) completed in-depth interviews. In Study 2, 166 Latino/a college students (58% women; M age 21.4 years) completed self-report surveys. Study 1 findings suggest that many Latino/a parents socialize their daughters in ways that are marked by “traditional” gender-related expectations and messages. Results of Study 2, which included descriptive analyses and the creation of scales to explore family correlates of gender-related socialization, support and expand these findings. Male and female respondents described different experiences of household activities, socialization of gender-typed behavior, and freedom to pursue social activities or gain access to privileges. Parental characteristics, particularly gender role attitudes, were linked to gender-related socialization. Findings are discussed in light of the developmental and cultural literature on gender-related socialization.

Latino/a families gender socialization parenting