Monday, February 04, 2019

New Study Says Hijab or Niqab Creates Positive Bias Toward Witnesses

Pakistan's Daily Times reports on the surprising results of an academic study on the impact of witnesses wearing Islamic head coverings in the court room:
Sexual assault victims wearing the hijab or niqab are viewed more positively when testifying in court than uncovered women, reveals a study that aimed to investigate the importance of being able to see the face to judge credibility among witnesses, along with the importance of religious garments.
Contrary to expectations, the study led by researchers from the Lancaster University in the UK and Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, found that “positive biases” are created when women testify in court with either their hair covered (the hijab) or their face and hair covered (the niqab).
The reason for the bias could be because the religious garments may signal that the wearer is more honest because of a positive view of religion.
The Muslim garment may dispel the common rape myth that the sexual assault victim was “asking for it” because it represents sexually conservative attitudes that are thought to disapprove of pre-marital or casual sexual encounters, the researchers explained.