Americans Views of Women in Shawls
Flemington, NJ, November 3, 2009 – Results of a national study among 813 Americans revealed that respondents expressed significantly different views of a woman wearing a shawl or hijab, and the same woman without the traditional headwear.
The study was conducted by HCD Research, using its mediacurves.com website during November 2-3, to determine whether Americans possess different views of a woman based on whether or not she wears traditional Muslim headwear. To view detailed results of the study, please go to: http://http://www.mediacurves.com
Participants were divided into two randomly assigned groups. Members of each group were asked to view one of two separate photos of an attractive young woman. Neither photo was identified in any way. Each sample was then asked identical questions about the woman, her age, perceived personality, activities, and how acceptable she might be as a neighbor.
One-third of participants indicated that they would rather have the woman with the traditional headwear live in another place, another city, and maybe out of the U.S, as opposed to living in their neighborhood. However, a clear majority of participants (86%) reported that the woman without the shawl would be welcome in their neighborhood.
The woman with the shawl on her head was also viewed as much more traditional than the woman without the shawl. Participants also indicated that the woman with the shawl was strict and rigid, a good wife and devoted mother. Conversely, the woman without the shawl was perceived to be friendly, humorous, and more trustworthy. She was also viewed as a person who “always looks at the bright side” and might even be the life of the party.
At the end of the questionnaire, the participants specifically identified the woman with the shawl on her head as Middle-Eastern in origin and a Muslim; the woman without the shawl was perceived as an American and a Catholic (maybe Protestant or Jewish).