chapter  6
Cultural and Historical Influences on Sexuality in Hispanic/Latin Women: Implications for Psychotherapy
ByOliva M. Espín
Pages 14

This chapter presents some ideas on the development of sexuality in Hispanic women and their implications for a psychotherapeutic relationship. It examines four major factors which affect the development of sexuality in Latin women in the United States: historical influences, immigration, language, and the psychological effects of oppression. Good psychotherapy for Hispanic women should free the client's energy from the entanglement of emotional conflicts in order to enable her to make better and freer choices. A psychological effect of oppression for Hispanic women is to increase their subordination to men. Latin women experience a unique combination of power and powerlessness which is characteristic of the culture. The idea that personal problems are best discussed with women is very much part of the Hispanic culture. For women undergoing a process of acculturation, as many Hispanic women are, choices about sexual behavior may become important expressions of a multitude of different experiences and values.