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Altering Masculinities: The Spanish Conquest and the Evolution of the Latin American Machismo

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International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies

Abstract

Machismo, a stereotype that emphasizes hypermasculinity and associated with the Latin American male, was a legacy of the Conquest of the Spanish conquistadores and their interpretation of and reaction to the indigenous two-spirit. It was the product of the rape of indigenous women, the response to indigenous imperial ritual, and the sublimation of indigenous male sexuality. It was a response to social and religious control of the male body. As such, it is not something that is easily eradicated. Through an understanding of the complex roots of this variant of masculinity, however, it may be possible to filter out some of the negative traits and highlight the more positive. This essay examines the interactions between the Spaniards and indigenous peoples of the Americas and the interpretations of indigenous sexualities, genders, and social roles by the Spanish authorities, and how it all participates in the construction of the Latin American machismo.

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Hardin, M. Altering Masculinities: The Spanish Conquest and the Evolution of the Latin American Machismo. International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies 7, 1–22 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1013050829597

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