Social Representations of Masculinity in Mexican Youth’s Creative Narratives

in Boyhood Studies
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  • 1 Emory University rbsingl@emory.edu
  • 2 Emory University jacqueline.carter@emory.edu
  • 3 Ministry of Health, Brazil tatianna.alencar@aids.gov.br
  • 4 Ministry of Health, Mexico aliciapina@yahoo.co.uk
  • 5 Emory University swinske@emory.edu
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Abstract

A study of 50 narratives (16 male-authored, 34 female-authored, ages 13–16) contributed to a scriptwriting competition by Mexican youth from Oaxaca State was undertaken to understand youth social representations of hegemonic masculinity. Representations of masculinity manifested within three domains: substance use, companionate or abusive relationships, and economic roles. Positively portrayed male characters maintained companionate relationships and economically provided for loved ones. Rejection of abusive rural male characters who misuse financial resources occurred via condemnatory language and tragic outcomes. The young authors highlight financial control as a key element of Mexican masculinity, but this control goes unchallenged if dependents benefit. The rejection of a macho hegemonic masculinity in favor of a companionate relationship model mirrors historic trends in Mexico regarding migration, gender, class, and modernity.

Contributor Notes

Robyn Singleton, MPH, is a Program Associate in the Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. She participates in applied qualitative research around the social drivers of HIV and gender-based violence in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as evaluations of multilevel interventions. Her research has been published in Culture, Health and Sexuality and Global Health Promotion. E-mail: rbsingl@emory.edu

Jacqueline Carter recently received her Master of Public Health degree in the Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. She participates in applied research and evaluation projects that address the social drivers of health among Latin American and African American populations. E-mail: jacqueline.carter@emory.edu

Tatianna Alencar, MPH, is a former Hubert Humphrey fellow at the Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. She currently participates in implementation research around prevention of HIV/AIDS, including preexposure prophylaxis, and works at the Ministry of Health in Brazil. E-mail: tatianna.alencar@aids.gov.br

Alicia PiÑeirÚa-MenÉndez, MD, MPH, is a former Fogarty Fellow at the Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. She currently works for the Mexican Ministry of Health as an HIV Clinical Coordinator at Clinica Especializada Condesa Iztapalapa. As well, she mobilizes the Global Dialogues process in Mexico. Her research has been published in The Lancet HIV, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, and Salud Pública de México. E-mail: aliciapina@yahoo.co.uk

Kate Winskell, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, where she is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in Global Health and Humanities. She specializes in communication for social and behavioral change and in innovative qualitative research on gender, sexuality, HIV, and stigma, with particular focus on children and young people in sub-Saharan Africa. She was one of the initiators of the Global Dialogues communication process. Her research has appeared in Social Science & Medicine, Global Public Health, Culture, Health and Sexuality, and the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. E-mail: swinske@emory.edu

Boyhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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