Sex Roles

, Volume 55, Issue 9–10, pp 715–724 | Cite as

Culture, Masculinity, and Psychological Well-being in Punjab, India

Original Article


This study was designed to examine the relationship between internalized idealized cultural beliefs (machismo, chastity, and caste identity) and psychological well-being (life satisfaction and anxiety) in a male surplus population. The study was conducted using questionnaires in a community sample of Jat caste persons in Punjab, India (N = 398). Overall, the correlation between machismo, chastity, and caste beliefs were significant. Men scored significantly higher than women on beliefs about machismo, chastity, and caste identity. For men, divine beliefs about chastity predicted higher life satisfaction, and prescriptive beliefs about chastity practices predicted lower life satisfaction. For women, machismo predicted lower anxiety. The importance of cultural ecological context in the production of masculinity was highlighted.


Masculinity Chastity Caste Sex ratio India 



This research was supported in part by a faculty seed grant to the second author from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan. We thank the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their valuable, constructive feedback. We thank Laura Klem, Monique Ward, Ruth Simmons, Sundari Balan, Shanta Nishi Kanukollu, Christina Davis, Sujit Das, Sonia Das, and Gina Rozman for their support during various stages of this project. We especially thank Mandeep Grewal for spearheading the data collection in Punjab, India.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Women’s StudiesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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