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Summary: Latino Males in Texas Community Colleges by Saenz, Bukoski, Lu and Rodriguez

“Latino Males in Texas Community Colleges: A Phenomenological Study of Masculinity Constructs and their Effect on College Experiences” was recently published in a special issue of the Journal of African American Males in Education that focused on men of color. Authors include Dr. Victor Saenz,  DDCE faculty fellow and associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration; Dr. Beth E. Bukoski, assistant professor at the University of Louisville and former DDCE graduate research assistant; Dr. Charles Lu, DDCE post-doctoral fellow in the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence; and Sarah Rodriguez, graduate research assistant in Project Males.

Project Males team 2012
The Project Males team, Jan. 2012, which includes the four authors: (from left) Sarah Rodriquez, Taryn Ozuna, Veronica Pecero, Dr. Victor Saenz, Millie Lopez, Dr. Beth Bukoski, Dr. Manny Gonzales and Dr. Charles Lu.


Using male gender role conflict as the framework for the study, the researchers determined the following:

  • Pride, or machismo, triggers men to admit emotionality only in rigid ways
  • Pride and fear prevent men from seeking academic support
  • Cultural and familial expectations of getting a job and earning money as a marker of manhood all serve to “pull” Latino men away from their students and make dropping out the easier and more viable option.

The purpose of the qualitative study was to explore how masculinity constructs influence Latino males’ educational experiences. The investigators spoke with 130 Latino male students in 23 focus groups at seven Texas community colleges during a two-year period. Findings suggest that community colleges can do more to facilitate men’s growing awareness of rigid gender roles, especially for Latino men and should design programs and support services with men in mind. The authors also suggest the need for step-by-step academic advising and career planning and the need to engage the families of Latino males in their education.

Download Latino Males in Texas Community Colleges to read the entire paper.