The use of social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter, can sway attitudes and behaviors across vast cultures and religious groups worldwide.
For example, a recent study found trends among veil-wearing Iranian women have been influenced by Facebook, as many express a liberal wiliness to post pictures sans the headdress on their profiles.
There are several religions that observe the use of a veil, meant to cover the head and chest, and in some cases the face. It is worn by a female beyond the age of puberty in the presence of males outside of their immediate family.
This is done in order to conform to an imposed standard of modesty.
However, according to an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, the daily used of Facebook has been associated with the controversial desire to go without wearing a traditional head-covering (Hijab), noting a higher willingness to display pictures of themselves without a veil.
“The Influence of Social Networking Technologies on Female Religious Veil-Wearing Behavior in Iran,” was composed from the results of a small survey of Iranian women.
The data was taken from a random sampling of nongovernmental participants.
An initial sample of 25 females at a university in Iran were approached and asked to complete a 15-item questionnaire. The women were queried on their use of Facebook and attitudes regarding wearing a veil.
Controlling for age and education, the researchers found a significant relationship between the amounts of time spent on Facebook to how likely the women surveyed were to cover themselves with a veil and whether they would post unveiled photos.
Essentially the more frequent the use, the higher the likelihood of the individual to take and post photos without a veil. In contrast, older subjects were more prone to adhere to the veil-wearing tradition.
Sean Young, PhD, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Abbas Shakiba, University of Shahid Chamran (Ahvaz, Iran), Justin Kwok, UCLA, and Mohammad Sadegh Montazeri, University of Semnan, Iran conducted the research.
[Photo Credit: Ranoush.]