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Machismo is a prominently exhibited or excessive masculinity.[1] As an attitude, machismo ranges from a personal sense of virility to a more extreme masculism. In many cultures, machismo is acceptable and even expected.

The trait may be seen as the product of runaway evolution, as Frits Staal notes,

The peacock's tail, the grotesquely enlarged claw of the male fiddler crab and the machismo of members of the human species are all exaggerated features that may cause injury to individuals that display them but attract females.[2]

In SpanishEdit

The English word "machismo" originates in an identical Spanish word, which however has a somewhat different meaning. Spanish machismo refers exclusively to the belief in the superiority of males over females, that is it means "sexism" or "male chauvinism" (along with the Spanish adjective machista, "sexist" or "male chauvinist").[3] Machismo itself derives from macho, a latin word taken from Galician, meaning "male [animal]" or, when used metaphorically, "masculine" or "very masculine".[4]


  1. Entry for macho at
  2. Staal, Noam Chomsky Between the Human and Natural Sciences, Janus Head (2001)
  3. Entry for machismo at the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy
  4. Online Etymology Dictionary's entry for "machismo"

See alsoEdit

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