Online Program

Faith and masculinity: A discussion on raising awareness and promoting wellness among Latino men

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Michael J. Rovito, Ph.D., CHES, FMHI, Department of Health Professions, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
James Leone, PhD, MPH, MS, CHES, College of Education and Allied Studies, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA
Males may experience several barriers to obtaining health care or becoming more active in a healthy lifestyle including unfamiliarity with procedures (i.e. colonoscopy), stigma and fear of a given health issue, perceived breach of masculinity (machismo), fear of feeling vulnerable, among others. Evidence suggests church-based interventions are an effective way to strengthen the connection between promotional message content with subjects' conceptualization of the risks and benefits of health maintenance. However, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating such effectiveness in the men's health realm, and even more of a dearth focusing on Latinos.

This discussion presents trends from community-based lectures conducted with Latino faith-based groups on men's health issues. A particular emphasis was placed on perceived masculinity (machismo) and gender roles within the social environment and how they influenced health maintenance and promotion among the group. Participant men indicated that machismo is a highly influential variable in the decision-making process of Latino men pertaining to health maintenance and their decision to receive care. Further, this paper advocates that faith-based groups can be an efficient and effective way to raise awareness and promote wellness among Latino men.


Rovito MJ & Leone JE. (2012). Faith and Masculinity: A Discussion on Raising Awareness and Promoting Wellness among Latino Men. California Journal of Health Promotion. 10, Special Issue: Health Disparities in Latino Communities, 70-77

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the role of masculinity in Latino navigation of health care systems and promotion message response.

Keyword(s): Male Health, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a published author in the men's health academy who conducts original research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.