Madera, Sheilla R. and Toro-Alfonso, Jose. “Description of a Domestic Violence Measure for Puerto Rican Gay Males.” Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 50 (2005), accessed April 15, 2015


In the journal article entitled, “Description of a Domestic Violence Measure for Puerto Rican Gay Males”, authors Shiella R. Madera, PhD and Jose Toro-Alfonso, PhD describe a study based on the prevalence of domestic violence of Puerto Rican men in New York and mainly Puerto Rico within their family of origin. The study’s results concluded that well over half of the men that were studied experienced some type of violence in their families, whether physical, emotional, or sexual violence because of their sexual preferences. The article identifies factors that may be associated with domestic violence such as acculturation to identify a comprehensive approach to violence towards this community minority. The aspect of acculturation of the Anglo-American culture is also discussed in great detail due to the fact that the differences in both culture’s construction of masculinity affects the attitudes of others towards homosexual men.

The author Dr. Sheilla R. Madera is a clinical psychologist with an interest in sexual orientation, domestic violence, and gender construction. Her work is published in many journals throughout Latin America. The co-author, Jose Toro-Alfonso is an Associate Professor and clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico. Along with this, he is a advisor to many international agencies that deal with HIV platform evaluation and prevention. Both authors clearly illustrate the correlation between domestic violence and attitudes towards homosexual men.

This article is of great importance in discussing Latin America’s last few countries to outlaw sodomy laws and adjust to the changes necessary to fulfill a specific minority’s human rights. As Puerto Rico has just recently lifted their sodomy laws giving gay and gender queer citizens the same privileges and rights as heterosexuals, it is important to look into domestic issues as well. Whether these citizens are granted human rights or not, it is also important to examine the underlying issues of domestic and public abuses and how these government-granted human rights are being protected.

Samantha Aguilar

Image: The Puerto Rican LBGT community marches in protest and camaraderie for their right to same sex marriage. This photograph found on an article titled, “Gay Rights Set to Arrive on Puerto Rican Shores”, directly correlates to gay rights in Latin America and what the gay community in Puerto Rico has set up to achieve equal rights.

Tags: Puerto Rico, Current, Gay Rights, Domestic Violence, Equality

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