Background. This article sets forth the problem of attitudes towards women in connection with the ethno-religious characteristics of their appearance (for example, the hijab [Islamic headscarf]).
Design. There were 200 subjects: at the first stage 50 women and 50 men aged 22 to 30 (mean age 25); at the second stage 100 females, residents of Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
Method. The study used the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale (translated and adapted by Yu.A. Mendzheritskaya), as well as the author’s questionnaire, which consisted of stimulus material (two sets of photos of five girls; in the first set, a portrait shot from the front with natural make-up, in the second set, the same girls, but wearing a black hijab). Respondents were asked to rank the girls in the photographs on a scale from friendly to hostile. At the second stage, we added questions about the respondents’ religious beliefs and their assumptions about the religious beliefs of the girls with and without the hijab.
Results. The results show that the respondent’s level of aggression can lead to a negative, hostile attitude towards a Muslim girl (based only on her external appearance), and more men evaluate the girls wearing the hijab as hostile. We also noted that the color of eyes and hair (even if only the eyelashes and eyebrows could be seen) can form an idea about religious beliefs.
Conclusion. Based on the received data, we can talk about the role of appearance. In the future, we plan to study specific features of the perception of appearance and discrimination against girls with a different appearance, in particular ethno-cultural clothing, because appearance is one of the most important triggers of discriminatory behavior.
Keywords: hijab, female, attitude, clothing, religious beliefs, Islam, Christianity