Latina girls speak out: Stereotypes, gender and relationship dynamics

Vera Lopez, Meda Chesney-Lind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


This study explores how 19 "high-risk" Latina girls viewed themselves, as well as how "others" perceived them. The views of eight clinicians were also sought. The girls viewed themselves positively, but they believed "others" saw them as "lowlifes," "cholas" and "always pregnant." Clinicians framed Latinas' "problematic" behaviors as products of the "Latino culture." They neglected explanations involving histories of abuse, trauma, violence and poverty. The girls did speak about such matters, and these comments suggest that young Latinas have an impressive ability to resist the stereotypes while also challenging the simplistic dualisms that are often said to characterize Latino culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-549
Number of pages23
JournalLatino Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 11 2014


  • Latinas
  • adolescent relationships
  • critical race theory
  • gender scripts
  • stereotypes
  • teen pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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