Gender Roles in Hispanic Culture: Informative Essay

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Hispanic are known to be family oriented. In the Hispanic culture, family is important and any concerns an individual have is important to address it. It is important for individuals to have a sense of self-esteem and know their identity because it strongly affects his /her relationship with any family member. Also, each member of the family plays a specific role; however, when altering the roles shows how it can affect the Hispanic community, in their traditional values. The father occupies a position of respect and authority. According to Linda Skogrand, who is an extension family life specialist at the University of UTAH, in the Hispanic community manhood is strongly influenced by “machismo.” Machismo is defined as a man who is believed to be strong, brave, and decent, and should always guard and give to their family. According to the College of Education at the University of South Florida (USF), “Machismo” means that men are superior to women, giving men the right to be authoritative with women and denying them any freedom. Many in the Hispanic culture here in the United States no longer practice the views of machismo. Instead, they are equally viewing and share equally power as they get married. Mothers in Hispanic culture are defined as caregivers, are highly valued, and are expected to care for children as well as their elderly family members. Marianismo is the female version of machismo, in the book Families as they are really are, the author states that women should be religious, giving all their attention to their household. Though for Hispanic women, it is important to keep their traditional roles, even if they have to work outside their homes. For the Hispanic community, it says, that the role of the mother is to care while the father is to be the one who disciplines their children. According to Skogrand, one of the Hispanic traditions is the role of the father over the role of wife and husband, children are the most important people to the Hispanic family. According to the College of Education at USF, in the Hispanic community children are raised with certain expectations. Also, one of the main things is that parents, expect their children to be responsible. Therefore, teaching their children to be respectful to authority figures and to restraint from any disrespectfulness. Many of families assume that children should learn to value interpersonal relationships with their family members. Since children are an important piece many parents do not attend any events where their children are not included, for the safety of their children’s happiness. The one thing that is important in the Hispanic community is the relationship with the family because it helps their adolescent’s son/daughter from any negative influence that can happen. According to the National Institutes for Health, the idea of family is important in the Hispanic community and spreads outside the nuclear family which is: grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins; friends and neighbors; or anyone who is important to their community. Moreover, families have three main aspects, according to the National Institutes of Health which are: family obligations, care and emotional understanding, and family as a reference, or living up to what their family expects them to do. Grandparents are so important in the Hispanic culture and mostly those who live with their family still do visitations amount their own family members. It is the perfect occasion for a family member to gather and celebrate any life events.

In the book Families, each chapter was well organized about what families have to go through in regard to their ethnic background. There are so many topics that I can relate to. However, two main ones are working parents and how parenting can affect the relationship among children. First and most, when we talk about mothers, in the Hispanic community it is stated that their number one job is as a housewife and being there for their children. However, in the 21st century, many things have changed. Also coming to a country not having financial stability, both parents must work to help their family get the stability they need.

When we came To America without any family here, both my parents had to work double jobs. I was in 2nd grade going to school not knowing anything about the language or culture. My parents had to take turns on the hours they worked. It was very hard for my parents to help me with homework or attend any after-school programs because either they were tired because of work or they were working. Sometimes I would stay in the afterschool program, so I would get extra help on my homework. Even when I used to get awards from school for good academic grades my parents wouldn’t be able to attend because of work. I knew my parents didn’t mean it and they really wanted to be part of everything that I was doing, but working for the American dream something had to be sacrificed. My parents wanted a better life for me and give me as much as they could. For many immigrants parents who come to America the most important thing is to give their children a better life, the life that they were not able to give them back home. Further, as I grew, I got used to the fact that my parents were not able to help with schoolwork or attend any events related to school. I never reproach my parents for not being there, instead, I always thank them because they were sacrificing the love of their family to work to give them a better life. My parents until this day always tell me or apologize for not being there for me on the most crucial part of my life. Since most parents who work double jobs are too busy to see what their children are doing. Sometimes some of these children do whatever they want since they do not have adult supervision, but others have a purpose to advance in life.

Furthermore, parenting style has a big impact on how children develop into adults and is for their future success. There are four main parenting styles and their suggestions for education to have successful children and leaders. Some parenting styles can differ significantly from one family to another. However, there are different approaches regarding parenting, some are parent-child interactions, which are based on their level of need and awareness. Today, parents try to see what their children are needs of their children through a “bi-directional approach”. Through a bi-directional approach, the child’s age, interests, temperament, and developmental needs are placed into consideration when parenting. Through this approach, parents have to learn to be more flexible because a “one-size-fits-all” approach does not work. Furthermore, a more verbal give can be taken between adults and children. Parents are not perfect and are learning and practicing how to maintain these structures and nurture them. One of the things parents do is listen and negotiate with their children, but they also tell their children when to make a compromise or not. Many researchers stated that the authoritative parenting style is found to be outstanding in the academic, social, and emotional outcomes for children.

I have found that this approach has the best academic, social, and emotional outcomes for children. Since my parents were not with me most of the time because they had to work. However, my parent’s style to raise me never change. No matter how much time I didn't spend with them I respected them. At home with my parents, I had rules that I needed to follow. As a parent, the approach to your child must be unique. Parents can’t just wake up one day and be a different person because they read a book or watched a mother on the playground who is perfect. Being a parent, you learn new skills as time goes on, parenting isn’t only a gathering of skills, rules, or tricks on how to be the perfect parent. A parent is what he is as a parent, what their family culture is, and how it transmits the most personal aspects of values to their child. For over 50 years of research, it was said that some styles of parenting show a better effect on their children than others. There are four main parenting styles that are well known which are: permissive, authoritarian, authoritative, and hands-off. Many child development experts have found that the most successful in raising children is the authoritative parenting style where both are academically strong and emotionally stable. However, not all parents fall accessibly into this or any other single type; instead, they are the combination of several parenting styles. An excellent piece of advice that child development experts suggest is that parents should be flexible enough so that parents can get used to their basic type of parenting style, this can help them adopt the best practices from other styles. Believe it or not, parenting style can have an influence on everything from how much a child may feel about themselves. Therefore, it is important to certify that parenting style is supportive of healthy growth and development because the way people interact with their child and how they discipline he/her will influence them for the rest of her/his life. Diana Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist who was the pioneer of the parenting styles approach, gives four types of parenting styles which are the following:

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  • Authoritarian parenting style- “Are high demandingness and low responsiveness.” These parents are strict and often used punishment to control children’s behavior. Authoritarian parents are impassive to their children’s needs and generally do not show any affection to their children. Some of the effects that children have are low self-esteem, perform poorly academically, less independence, and are stay to have mental issues.
  • Authoritative parenting style- Authoritative parenting is a parenting style that is considered “high responsiveness and high demands.” Authoritative parents are a little different in their response to their child’s emotional needs. They set limits and are very consistent and they set boundaries. Some of the effects that children have are: Children tend to be happy and content, are independent and self-reliant, “develop good social skills, express warmth and cooperate with peers, achieve higher academic success and are engage more in school activities.” On the positive side, these children are less depressive, less anxious, less suicidal, less delinquent, and do not use alcohol or drug use.
  • Permissive- “low demandingness and high responsiveness.” Permissive parenting is a type of parenting style that shows low demands with high responsiveness. Permissive parents tend to be very affectionate. but sets up fewer guidelines and rules. These parents are more like a friend than the parental figure they do not expect perfect behavior from their children. They have a few rules or standards of behavior. If they do have rules, they are often not followed consistently.
  • Uninvolved- Uninvolved parenting, sometimes referred to as neglectful parenting, are often not affectionate parents, they do not show any affection to their children. Uninvolved parents make few to no demands of their children and they are often unresponsive, indifferent, and even careless. They are emotionally supportive and are distant from their children and are offered little or no supervision. These parents do not show any warmth, love, or affection toward their children. They expect no expectations or are demanded of their children.

Moreover, Baumrind was able to observe preschoolers in their own setting like their, preschool and the children were of an age that was unlikely to change their honest, natural reactions. According to Baumrind, these three parenting styles continue to be an effective background for parents to have a more knowledgeable approach to what works best and why. Baumrind stated through her study that in the US the most used parenting style was the one of authoritarian parenting; and concluded that those children were from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Somewhat, this might help parents understand why some are part of these parenting styles and how children tend to react to different situations, which are found in minority neighborhoods an example would be crime or violence.

Moreover, now that I have a more understanding of the different parenting styles, I think my parents had a little bit of both authoritarian and permissive ways of parenting. Indeed, my parents work a lot when I was young because they wanted to give me a better future. Even though they did not spend time with me as they should they were always there to guide me. I also disagree with psychotherapist Baumrind, regarding parents who are authoritative, and their children are less depressive, or who do not suffer from mental illness. I believe that it is always the case because I have seen cases where even being the best parent and always being there for them it does not always mean they cannot have any mental issues. Nowadays, having the best parental styles do not always mean that your child will follow everything that you have taught him. Children act differently in school, and at home. There are so many people out there who can influence children without any harm through their own actions, such as having a conversation with other adults. Children are very prone to copy the actions of those around them, especially adults. Parents may not know it, but day-to-day behavior, from the way you drive to the tone of your voice, is shaping the way your child will act for the rest of their life. Parenting styles can differ significantly from one family to another. There’s a saying that, kids are the reflection of their own parents. Therefore, it is very important to note that even though you might not think about your parenting style on a day-to-day basis, your parenting style has an enormous effect on your child.

I believe that parenting style is as important not only to the parents but also to the child as it plays a great tool as they grow. As a first-time parent, it can be difficult to have a specific parenting style. Therefore, a lot of first-time parents tend to be all over the place when being authoritative parents, setting rules for their kids. A parent is like a book with many different chapters that are written as they learned the different ways of parenthood. Indeed, parents are not perfect, and together the child and the parent grow and learn together. However, each case is different in regards to the style of how to teach your children to be better. Parents always want their kids to excel more than them. On the other hand, single mothers can have a difficult time when parenting their kids because as mentioned earlier; the father is the person who is the one who sets the rules and the mother is the one who shows that affection to the child. When being a single mother is hard because sometimes kids can misinterpret the rules. There is really no specific way to learn how to be a parent, no one really sits down and explains the different parenting styles. No one says, “Hey parent congratulations, now choose a parenting style.”

When I became a mother for the first time, I had mixed emotions. My husband and I were young, and we did not know if we were going to be the best parents. No one brought us a book about the different stages of being a parent. Even though our son was just little at the time, we did not know anything about being a parent. Indeed, our parents were there as a support system, they always told us that they can give us advice, but that there is no perfect way in learning to be a parent if you do not experience it yourself. As our son got to the stage of being a toddler, him having the so call “terrible two’s” we felt overwhelmed at first because we did not know how to handle the situation or how to discipline our son. Both of us working full-time jobs and our son being in daycare it was quite difficult because my son was given rules at daycare to follow. By the time we used to get home, it was time to sleep and continue again the next day. Now that I had done research on parenting styles, I understand the different options on how to handle different situations. Our son is still a kid and not quite a teenager, therefore, we are still in the process of learning each day how to be the “best parents.”

Finally, in Hispanic cultures parenting styles, and dividing the work of parents are very important. In any Hispanic culture, the mother is always the one who shows emotional support, and the father is the “macho figure” the one with a strong character and disciplines the child. However, now in days, a lot has changed their cases where the mother is currently the working mother and the father is the stay home father. Indeed, parenting styles can be a challenge for anyone. Clinical and developmental psychologist Baumrind gives us options on the different styles that she has seen with her research, but I believe there is always room to implement and make these styles out own.

Work Cited

  1. What Is Authoritative Parenting? (Examples). (2018, January 28). Retrieved from
  2. Diana Baumrind's (1966) Prototypical Descriptions of 3 Parenting Styles. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. Risman, B. J., & Rutter, V. (2015). Families as they really are. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
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Gender Roles in Hispanic Culture: Informative Essay. (2023, July 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
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