Sex Roles

, Volume 75, Issue 11–12, pp 543–554 | Cite as

Why Do Women Endorse Honor Beliefs? Ambivalent Sexism and Religiosity as Predictors

  • Peter GlickEmail author
  • Nuray Sakallı-Uğurlu
  • Gülçin Akbaş
  • İrem Metin Orta
  • Suzan Ceylan
Original Article


Cultures of honor, such as Turkey, prioritize defending individual and family reputations, but in gender-specific ways (Nisbett and Cohen 1996). Men maintain honor via reputations for toughness, aggression, control over women, and avenging insults. Women maintain honor through obedience to men, sexual modesty, and religious piety. Honor beliefs support women’s subordination, justifying violence against them (Sev’er and Yurdakul, Violence against Women, 7, 964–998, 2001) and therefore should be challenged. Understanding honor beliefs’ ideological correlates may inform such efforts. We hypothesized that benevolent sexism, a subjectively favorable system-justifying ideology, would more strongly, positively predict Turkish women’s (versus men’s) honor beliefs; whereas hostile sexism, which is openly antagonistic toward women, would more strongly, positively predict Turkish men’s (versus women’s) honor beliefs. Additionally, due to justifications for gender inequality embedded in Islamic religious teachings, we expected Islamic religiosity to positively predict honor beliefs for both genders. A convenience sample of Turkish undergraduates (313 women and 122 men) in Ankara completed the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, Religious Orientation Scale, and Honor Endorsement Index. Regression analyses revealed that benevolent (but not hostile) sexism positively predicted women’s honor beliefs, whereas hostile (but not benevolent) sexism positively predicted men’s honor beliefs. Islamic religiosity positively predicted honor beliefs for both genders, but (unexpectedly) did so more strongly for men than women. We suggest that combating benevolent sexism and promoting feminist interpretations of Islamic religiosity may help to empower Turkish women to challenge honor beliefs.


Culture of honor Hostile sexism Benevolent sexism Religious Orientation Muslim sample Turkish sample 


Compliance with ethical standards

The research complied with APA ethical standards and was reviewed and approved by an IRB prior to conducting the research. The manuscript has not been submitted to any other journal.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Glick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nuray Sakallı-Uğurlu
    • 2
  • Gülçin Akbaş
    • 2
  • İrem Metin Orta
    • 3
  • Suzan Ceylan
    • 2
  1. 1.Lawrence UniversityAppletonUSA
  2. 2.Middle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Atılım UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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