Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Michèle Alexandre

Relational Format



This thesis attempts to explore how the inextricable relationship between machismo and poverty connects to the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Latin America through predatory behaviors in order to provide insight to anti-trafficking campaigns. The overt Latin American culture of machismo contributes to the discrimination of women and children, enhancing their inherent dependency on men for economic survival. The inevitable pattern of dependency on patriarchal figures out of vulnerability to societal constructions is evident in economic, political and social structures. The pervasiveness of dependency is seen through patterns of violence against women, patterns of child abuse, and patterns of commercial sexual exploitation of children in three Latin American countries: Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia. Machismo and poverty are so inextricably connected in their contribution to the commercial sexual exploitation of children that they cannot be overlooked when determining responses and designing schemes for anti-trafficking campaigns.

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