Body Image and Religion: Explicit and Implicit Attitudes Among Three Denominations of Jewish Women

Shulamit Geller, Yael Sidi, Sigal Levy, Jonathan E. Handelzalts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The protective power of certain religious aspects with regards to body image has been demonstrated in the literature. However, most studies only use self-report methods. Self-report measures are limited as they might reflect biased attitudes, especially for more traditional religious communities. The present study aimed to examine the potential bias in body image self-report measures among women from three Jewish religion denominations by comparing explicit and implicit measures in this context. Participants were 580 Israeli Jewish women from ultra-orthodox, modern-orthodox, and secular denominations who completed self-report measures of positive and negative body image attitudes as well as the thin-ideal Implicit Association Test. Findings demonstrated that while ultra-orthodox women report on more positive body image attitudes and less body image concerns, their implicit scores are similar to those of modern orthodox and secular women when taking their body mass index into account. In conclusion, there are group differences in explicit but not implicit measures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Religion and Spirituality
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by a seed grant from the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo. The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dorit Halperin and Maayan Artzi in collecting the data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. American Psychological Association


  • Body image
  • Implicit attitudes
  • Religion
  • Thin ideal
  • Women


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