Expressions of machismo in colorectal cancer screening among New Mexico Hispanic subpopulations. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although national colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence rates have steadily decreased, the rate for New Mexico Hispanics has been increasing, and screening rates are low. We conducted an exploratory qualitative study to determine barriers to CRC screening for New Mexico Hispanics. We found that machismo served as a dynamic influence on men's health-seeking behaviors; however, it was conceptualized differently by two distinct Hispanic subpopulations, and therefore appeared to play a different role in shaping their screening attitudes and behaviors. Machismo emerged as more of an influence for Mexican men, who expressed concern over colonoscopies being potentially transformative and/or stigmatizing, but was not as salient for Hispanos, who viewed the colonoscopy as "strictly medical," and were more concerned with discomfort and pain. Findings from the study highlight the importance of identifying varying characteristics among subpopulations to better understand screening barriers and provide optimal CRC screening counseling in primary care settings.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012