Tuesday, August 23

U.S. Muslim Women and Body Image: Links Among Objectification Theory Constructs and the Hijab

First the godawfully written abstract.

This study tested tenets of objectification theory and explored the role of the hijab in body image and
eating disorder symptoms with a sample of 118 Muslim women in the United States. Results from a path
analysis indicated that individual differences in wearing the hijab were related negatively with reported
sexual objectification experiences. Sexual objectification experiences, in turn, had significant positive
indirect relations with body surveillance, body shame, and eating disorder symptoms, primarily through
the mediating role of internalization. Internalization of cultural standards of beauty also had a significant
positive direct relation with body shame and significant positive direct and indirect relations with eating
disorder symptoms. By contrast, the direct and indirect relations of body surveillance were significant
only when the role of internalization was constrained to 0 (i.e., eliminated), suggesting that internalization
of cultural standards of beauty subsumed the hypothesized role of body surveillance in the model.
Taken together, these results support some of the tenets of objectification theory with a sample of U.S.
Muslim women, point to the importance of internalization of dominant cultural standards of beauty
within that framework, and suggest the utility of considering individual differences in wearing the hijab
among U.S. Muslim women.

I had to read it thrice to make sure I understood it and i am still not sure if I got it. If I understood it, it says that based upon a sample of 118 Muslim women, they found that there was a relationship between a woman wearing a hijab and sexual objectification experience. So if they had a bad experience of being treated as a sex object, then they were more inclined to wear a hijab. ok. So far so good. But seems like having a bad experience of treated as a sex object is also connected to body shame and eating disorders. Does this mean to say that wearing hijab is connected to these disorders? And the survey also says that wearing a Hijab lead to lesser number of sexual objectification experiences. Complicated stuff.

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