Male migration, machismo, and conjugal roles: Implications for fertility control in a Mexican municipio.

  • Wiest R
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Data from a survey of 70 Mexican households were used to examine 3 interrelated issues in migration of Mexican married males to the US: (1) the link between male migration and economic conditions of the home community, (2) the impact of male migration on conjugal roles, and (3) ideas associated with fertility control and ideals. Economic consideration strongly overshadows negative aspects of migration in families of migrants, and dependence on migration for sole or supplementary household support is widespread. Migratory married men continue to fulfill traditional familial obligations and provide for household comforts leading to a rise in social status. Although conjugal families are maintained, women's independence has increased while men continue to realize the ideals of machismo and associated dominance. Fertility control, while considered a possible threat to machismo (a man's virility is evidenced by number of children), actually bolsters the machismo ideal and contributes to women's independence. Migration gives the man an acceptable excuse for not fathering many children: The absence of children demonstrates control over the wife and verifies her fidelity; for women, migration of the male means less preoccupation with pregnancy and childrearing. It is concluded that migration of married Mexican men to the US is a viable economic and social strategy for the maintenance of conjugal family units. (French & Spanish abstracts) (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Birth Control
  • *Family
  • *Human Males
  • *Human Migration
  • *Sex Roles
  • Culture Change
  • Marital Relations

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  • Raymond E Wiest

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