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Body Image and Religiosity among Veiled and Non-Veiled Turkish Women

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The positive relationship between body image and religiosity, as found in Christian samples, is often explained in terms of a moderate dress style of highly religious women. Unfortunately, almost nothing is known about the relationship between body image, religiosity, and dress style among female Muslims who live in Muslim-majority countries. Therefore, we conducted an exploratory questionnaire study among 59 female Muslims between 17 and 46 years (n = 29 veiled, n = 30 non-veiled) in Turkey, measuring social appearance anxiety and religiosity (intrinsic, extrinsic, normative, popular religiosity). The results show that veiled women score much lower on social appearance anxiety than non-veiled women. All four forms of religiosity are highly negatively correlated with social appearance anxiety for the whole sample and the veiled subsample. The results are discussed in the context of wearing the hijab and normative religiosity as important buffering factors against a negative body image among Turkish-Muslim women.

Affiliations: 1: Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, Chair of Sociology of Religion at University MünsterGermany ; 2: Independent Researcher IstanbulTurkey ; 3: Independent Researcher (former Assist. Prof., department of sociology) FrankfurtGermany


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