Advertisement

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 818–834 | Cite as

Defining and Exploring Modesty in Jewish American Women

  • Caryn Scheinberg Andrews
Original Paper

Abstract

Whether culture-based modesty may be a barrier to women’s health care has been a longstanding question. Numerous studies have noted that, in certain cultures, modesty is considered a barrier to mammography screening and breast feeding. Though modesty has been noted as an inherent aspect of the lived experience of many cultures, no extant measures or clear definitions were found. Jewish women, some having strict rules regarding modesty, were sampled to understand their definition of modesty. These perspectives were objectively analyzed using Q methodology. We found that although some perspectives on modesty may be accounted for by culture, there are others that are not.

Keywords

Modesty Jewish Culture q-methodology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author was funded by a grant from the Women’s Health Research Group, University of Maryland Baltimore. Much gratitude to Dissertation Chair Dr. Louise Jenkins, University of Maryland School of Nursing for guidance, support, and mentorship.

References

  1. Aiken, L. (1992). To be a Jewish woman. Northvale: Jason Aronson Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, C. (2003). Results of preliminary research. Unpublished data.Google Scholar
  3. Andrews, C. S. (2006). Modesty and healthcare for women: Understanding cultural sensitivities. Community Oncology, 3(7), 448–451.Google Scholar
  4. Banerjee, R. (2000). The development of an understanding of modesty. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 18(4), 499–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berkowitz, B. (2008). Cultural aspects in the care of the orthodox Jewish woman. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 53(1), 62–67.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, S. R. (1993). A primer on Q methodology. Operant Subjectivity, 16, 91–138.Google Scholar
  7. Coopersmith, D. (2000). Beneath the surface: A deeper look at modesty. In S. T. Kornbluth & D. Kornbluth (Eds.), Jewish woman speak about Jewish matters. Southfield: Targum Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  8. Dennis, K. E. (1986). Q methodology: Relevance and application to nursing research. Advances in Nursing Science, 8(3), 6–17.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Epstein, R. M., & i Carrio, F. B. (2001). Pudor, honor, and autoridad: The evolving patient-physician relationship in Spain. Patient Education & Counseling, 45(1), 51–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Facione, N. (1999). Breast cancer screening in relation to access to health services. Oncology Nursing Forum, 26(4), 689–695.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Florez-Ortiz, Y. G. (1994). The role of cultural and gender values in alcohol use patterns among Chicana/Latina high school and university students: Implications for AIDS prevention. International Journal of the Addictions, 29(9), 1149–1171.Google Scholar
  12. Friedman, M. (1990). Doesn’t anyone blush anymore. Minneapolis: Bais Chana Press.Google Scholar
  13. Heller, T. (2001) Women in Judaism, Class 4-Obligation or privilege? Part 2. Webpage. http://www.torah.org/learning/women/class4.html.
  14. Hoeman, S. P., Ku, Y. L., & Ohl, D. R. (1996). Health beliefs and early detection among Chinese women. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 18(5), 518–533.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kim, J. H., & Menon, U. (2009). Pre- and postintervention differences in acculturation, knowledge, beliefs, and stages of readiness for mammograms among Korean American women. Oncology Nursing Forum, 36(2), E80–E92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kurman, J. (2001). Self-enhancement: Is it restricted to individualistic cultures? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(12), 1705–1716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kurman, J., & Sriram, N. (2002). Interrelationships among vertical and horizontal collectivism, modesty, and self-enhancement. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33(1), 71–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lawrence, P., & Rozmus, C. (2001). Culturally sensitive care of the Muslim patient. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 12(3), 228–233.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Manolson, G. (1997). Outside/inside: A fresh look at tznuit. Southfield: Targum Press.Google Scholar
  20. McKeown, B., & Thomas, D. (1988). Q Methodology. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  21. Mo, B. (1992). Cross-cultural medicine: A decade later. Modesty, sexuality, and breast health in Chinese-American women. The Western Journal of Medicine, 157(3), 260–264.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Moore, V. A. (2001). Racialized and gendered age to organize peer relations. Gender and Society, 15(6), 835–858.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Noble, A., Rom, M., Newsome-Wicks, M., Engelhardt, K., & Woloski-Wruble, A. (2009). Jewish laws, customs, and practice in labor, delivery, and postpartum care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 20(3), 323–333.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Raisler, J. (2000). Against the odds: Breastfeeding experience of low income mothers. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 45(3), 253–263.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rashidi, A., & Rajaram, S. S. (2000). Middle Eastern Asian Islamic women and breast self-examination. Needs assessment. Cancer Nursing, 23(1), 64–70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ray-Mazumder, S. (2001). Role of gender, insurance status and culture in attitudes and health behavior in a US Chinese student population. Ethnicity & Health, 6(4), 197–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reagan, L. J. (1997). Engendering the dread disease: Women, men and cancer. American Journal of Public Health, 87(11), 1779–1787.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stephenson, W. (1993). Introduction to Q-methodology. Operant Subjectivity, 17, 1–13.Google Scholar
  29. Stricklin, M. (2000) PCQ for Windows: Software. www.PCQsoft.com.
  30. Tang, T., Solomon, L. J., & McCracken, L. M. (2000). Cultural barriers to mammography, clinical breast exam and breast self-exam among Chinese-American women 60 and older. Preventive Medicine: an International Devoted to Practice & Theory, 31(5), 575–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Twinn, S., & Cheng, F. (2000). Increasing uptake rates of cervical cancer screening amongst Hong Kong Chinese women: The role of the nurse practitioner. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 32(2), 335–342.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wu, T.-Y., Hsieh, H. F., & West, B. T. (2009). Stages of mammography adoption in Asian American women. Health Education Research, 24(5), 748–759.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Yoseph, A. R. O. (2008). Health Beliefs, Practices, and Priorities for health care of Arab Muslims in the United States: Implications for nursing care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 19(3), 284–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute, Northwest Hospital CenterRandallstownUSA

Personalised recommendations