Dating macho men elucidating nuclear reprogramming mechanisms

“People who are doing it are extremely detached emotionally.” Putignano says his relationship with his absent alcoholic father had a profound affect on his romantic relationships with men.“We're trying to mimic straight relationships because that's all we have,” he says.

“There hasn't been enough time to establish or define what two men bring.” Putignano gives the example of one of his previous partners who was sexually aggressive because he felt he was “supposed to be a man.” As a result, Putignano says he was not in tune with his needs.

Falicov and other mental health experts feel there needs to be a more comprehensive and less stereotypical definition. Yobany Pardo, lead researcher of the study Machismo and Marital Satisfaction in Mexican American Couples, says that the traditional definition of a macho is a domineering, controlling, chauvinistic type of male, but he's “arguing for a less stereotyped definition, one more congruent with real characteristics.” He believes that we should be looking at specific behaviors in specific scenarios for a newer, more accurate definition, one that is both social-cultural driven and contextual.

His study, for instance, found that wives’ endorsement of positive machismo beliefs was associated with higher levels of their own marital satisfaction, while moderate levels of positive machismo were associated with higher levels of marital satisfaction for husbands.

“Usually, I'll ask them to recognize the challenges in maintaining that status. I don't think there's a man who only has negative attributes.”When it comes to the issue of machismo, much of the discourse is justifiably centered on the ways it affects women; however, by ignoring the negative influence of these attitudes on men, it's difficult to effectively dismantle these damaging ideologies.

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Without your 'manhood,' you're nobody,” he says.“It's an act to fool others,” says Joe Putignano, model and author of Acrobaddict: A Contortionist's Heroin Romance.“It involves caring for partner and family and feeling that it's honorable,” he says.According to Pardo's study, extreme dominance and lack of gentlemanly traits reduce the satisfaction that husbands and wives experience in a relationship.The program is dedicated to “engaging and mobilizing men and boys to prevent violence before it starts” and de Leon and his friends offer free workshops in schools and in the community.“The program is a chance to express who they really are,” he says.“It's a life-changing and life -saving experience.” de Leon hopes to receive funding to expand their programming and reach more young men.

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