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Title:Deconstructing sexual violence through the co-construction and telling of Mexican American gender histories
Author(s):Carrillo, Iris Y.
Director of Research:Greene, Jennifer C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hannum, James W.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Greene, Jennifer C.; Buki, Lydia P.; Lugo, Alejandro
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Mexican Americans
gender socialization
Gender Roles
gender role ideology
gender role attitudes
sexual violence
sexual coercion
unwanted sexual behavior
life history methods
Abstract:Feminist, sociocultural, and sex role socialization theories of rape suggest that gender role socialization, as defined by the gender role ideology imparted and gender role attitudes adopted, influence the incidence and impact of sexual violence. Such relationship has been found to exist across various ethnic populations, including Mexican Americans, but this literature is scant and the processes involved in the development of such a relationship remain latent. The current study utilized a Chicana feminist epistemology and methodology and life history methods to explore the relationship between four Mexican Americans’ experiences of gender role socialization and their understandings of sexual violence. A family systems model, ecological perspective, and social cognitive theoretical framework were used to elicit and co-construct participants’ experiences of gender role socialization. Participants were engaged in the production of this knowledge, which was represented as narratives illustrative of participants’ gender histories. These narratives provide a detailed and intimate account of participants’ experiences of gender role socialization and negotiation and reveal the interrelatedness of their experiences of gender with their understandings of sexual violence. Participants’ experiences of gender role socialization revealed their parents had adopted and modeled gender roles reflective of traditional Mexican gender role ideology (i.e., machismo, marianismo) and engaged in gender role socialization practices that encouraged them to adopt the same ideology and roles. Familial gender role socialization practices were found to be reinforced by other socializing agents (e.g., peers, media, K-12 school, church), and the impact of participants’ experiences of migration and domestic violence on gender identity development were also noted. Despite their traditional gender role socialization, all four participants revealed they had transgressed appropriate gender behavior and expectations and were redefining their notions of womanhood and manhood, thus challenging the prevalence, pervasiveness, and rigidity historically attributed to traditional Mexican gender role ideology in the existing literature. Although unique factors propelled each participant to subvert and redefine gender, they all attributed their endorsement of less traditional gender role attitudes and behavior to their pursuit of a college education and their exposure to different life experiences outside their communities. Participants also engaged in an analysis of sexual violence (e.g., rape, sexual coercion, and consensual unwanted sexual behavior) and considered the influence of their experiences of gender role socialization and negotiation on their understandings of this construct. Overall, all four participants supported more feminist/less conservative views on sexual violence. They attributed their endorsement of less conservative views on sexual violence to their endorsement of less traditional gender role attitudes. They believed that had they endorsed more traditional gender role attitudes, their perspectives about sexual violence would be similar to those of their communities, which they described as more conservative.
Issue Date:2011-01-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Iris Y. Carrillo
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-01-14
Date Deposited:December 2

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