The roles of gender and culture remain elusive in the discussion of minority male vs. female Injecting Drug User (IDU) populations. A case in point is that of Hispano and Hispana IDUs. The commonly used street term for the Hispano (male) IDU, Tecato, is feminized through the use of the corresponding female noun Tecata. To do so however, minimizes the intricacies of gender and culture in the male vs. female roles of Hispano and Hispana IDUs (e.g., daughter/son, mother/father, partner, citizen). Hispano IDUs are also impacted by gender and culture in that Hispanos who embrace the Tecato way of life, must sacrifice and inure the consequences in how their male roles are minimized (e.g., the absent male figure in community, home, and family life). This article explores, through the analysis of qualitative interview data, the demands of gender and culture as they play themselves out in the lives of Hispana IDUs. Findings from this study suggest there are important gender and culture differences between Hispano and Hispana IDUs. Implications of this study include the need to reexamine the roles of gender and culture as they cause added pressure to Hispana IDUs (i.e., in demands to fulfill gender and culture stereotyped roles while also pursuing an IDU career).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health