Sexuality Research & Social Policy

, 4:74

Imagining modernity: Sexuality, policy and social change in Mexico

Special Issue Article

DOI: 10.1525/srsp.2007.4.3.74

Cite this article as:
Carrillo, H. Sex Res Soc Policy (2007) 4: 74. doi:10.1525/srsp.2007.4.3.74


Mexico is the site of significant recent change in relation to sexuality-related attitudes and policies. Based in part on ethnographic data collected in Guadalajara during the mid-1990s, in this article the author discusses urban Mexicans’ perceptions of the need for such changes. At a broader level, the article analyzes the processes leading to 3 significant new policies enacted since 2005: (a) a national antihomophobia campaign that derived from a federal antidiscrimination law, (b) a civil unions law in Mexico City that includes gay and lesbian couples, and (c) the decriminalization of early-term abortion in Mexico City. This analysis considers the roles of the Mexican state, the Catholic church, the mass media, and liberal and conservative social actors in shaping public opinion and policy. The author argues that sexuality-related changes acquire strong symbolic meaning as indicators of Mexico’s status as modern or, alternatively, of the maintenance of so-called Mexican traditions.

Key words

sex educationhomosexualityhomophobiacivil unionsabortionhealth promotionHIV/AIDS

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sexuality StudiesSan Francisco State UniversitySan Francisco