Fathering latina sexualities: Mexican men and the virginity of their daughters


Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, Burdine Hall, Room 336, Austin, TX 78712-1088 (gloria386@mail.la.utexas.edu).


Mexican men have been traditionally misrepresented in or omitted from fatherhood scholarship, sexuality and reproductive health-related research, and immigration studies. Based on in-depth tape-recorded interviews with 20 immigrant men living in Los Angeles, this study examined Mexican fathers’ views of virginity as they educate their daughters in the United States. Results indicate that fathers’ perceptions of a daughter's virginity are shaped by regional expressions of patriarchy and masculinity, and the socioeconomic segregation of inner-city barrios. Protecting their daughters from a sexually dangerous society and improving their socioeconomic future is of greater concern to these men than preserving virginity per se. These men's narratives challenge stereotypical images and archetypes of the Latino macho father.