“Testing Nuts”: Masculinity in Gang Culture

This ethnographic study examines how young Latino men in lower income communities navigate their masculinity through gangs. This was a qualitative study that consisted of seven participants who affiliated with the Emiliano Zapata Gang and the data was collected through face to face interviews, to understand their perspective of masculinity and how it influences them. Through my participant’s answers and previous research, I was able to identify issues that have led individuals to use their masculinity as a tool to shape the development of street gangs. We continue to stigmatize these young men who are involved in gangs without knowing the real answer to why the cycle of gangs expressing their masculinity in the communities continues. My research presents that gender is a key issue as to why the reproduction of masculinity is heavily produced among young men and that leads them to find alternative ways such as gangs to increase their masculinity.