The Association between Modest Dress and Body Image in Orthodox Jewish Women
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For women in American culture, physical appearance plays a central role in establishing worth. Orthodox Jewish women are required to adhere to strict modesty laws which directly impact their physical appearance, thereby potentially impacting their worth and body image. The association between clothing modesty and body image in Orthodox Jewish women has not yet been studied. The present study therefore aimed to investigate this association in college-age Orthodox Jewish women. Participants were 100 students of Stern College for Women in New York, NY between the ages of 18 and 23. Questionnaires regarding level of clothing modesty, body image, and religiosity were administered. Analyses revealed no associations between body image and level of clothing modesty. Subjective religiosity and religious behaviors were associated with body image, but religious faith was not. These findings contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the influence clothing practices may have on women, especially those who are religiously mandated to dress in a particular fashion.
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