The Central American Republic of Panama forms a land bridge connecting Central and South America. The majority of the population are mestizo, Creole, or indigenous; Hispanic is the dominant culture; and Roman Catholic is the dominant religion. Women have entered the workforce and political arena, but the traditional view of male dominance remains largely unchallenged. Women enjoy good educational access, high literacy rates, and good medical care and overall living standards. Panama ranked 43rd of 134 countries in the World Economic Forum's 2009 Global Gender Gap Report.

The traditional Hispanic concepts of machismo and marianismo provide a sexual double standard, as male sexual promiscuity is viewed as a sign of virility while there is an equally strong emphasis on female virginity and purity. Both common law ...

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