When it comes to gender roles, Puerto Ricans are fairly traditional. However, like the rest of the industrial world, women have made inroads into the formerly male world of business and sports, particularly in urban areas. At one time it was common practice among the island’s most traditional families for young women to be accompanied by chaperones in the form of an aunt or older sister when they began dating, but that practice is quickly vanishing.
Vestiges of machismo still exist among male populations. Attractive young women may attract unwanted catcalls, usually expressed with a “s-s-s” sound, or calls of “Mira, mami!” But in general, Puerto Rican men can be quite chivalrous in ways American women may be unaccustomed to. Having a bus seat relinquished for their comfort and the holding of doors are courtesies commonly encountered.
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition