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Tracking the Latino Gender Gap: Gender Attitudes across Sex, Borders, and Generations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 February 2012

Christina E. Bejarano
Affiliation:
University of Kansas
Sylvia Manzano
Affiliation:
Texas A&M University
Celeste Montoya
Affiliation:
University of Colorado

Abstract

Many cultural stereotypes exist regarding the “modernity” of values possessed by Latino immigrants, particularly in reference to gender norms. Common perceptions about Latin machismo and marianismo (the idea that women should be pure and moral) do not paint a portrait of gender egalitarian dispositions. These assessments are upheld by neomodernization theorists who specifically identify gender attitudes as a critical element of modernity. In applying a revised modernization theory to the issue of comparative gender values, Inglehart and Norris (2003, 10) hypothesize that development “brings about changed cultural attitudes toward gender equality in virtually any society that experiences the various forms of modernization linked with economic development.” The idea that gender equality norms develop gradually, as a function of modernization, gives rise to different expectations about accepted gender roles in developing countries as opposed to those in advanced industrial democracies. Another feature of this modernization process is the emergence of gender gaps in political behavior and attitudes. Inglehart and Norris (2000) distinguish between traditional gender gaps found in postcommunist and developing societies (in which women are more conservative in their behavior and cultural attitudes relative to men) and modern gender gaps evident in postindustrial societies (in which women are more progressive than men).

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2011

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