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Exaggerated pride in masculinity, perceived as power, often coupled with a minimal sense of responsibility and disregard of consequences. In machismo there is supreme valuation of characteristics culturally associated with the masculine and a denigration of characteristics associated with the feminine. It has for centuries been a strong current in Latin American politics and society. Caudillos (military dictators), prominent in the history of Latin America, have typified machismo with their bold and authoritarian approach to government and their willingness to employ violence to achieve their ends.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on machismo, visit Britannica.com.