Heroes, Hymen and Honour: A Study of the Character of Attitude Change among Male Youth with Their Roots in an Honour-Based Context

Devin Rexvid, Astrid Schlytter


Background: Honour-related violence and oppression (HRVO) became a public and a state concern in Sweden in the wake of murders of three young women of foreign origin in the late 90’s and early 20's. The Swedish society's focus on girls' and women's exposure to honour-related restrictions and reprisals, overshadowed to some extent, boys’ and young men’s condition in the honour context. Yet in recent years boys’ and young men's dual role as both victims and potential perpetrators in honour culture has received increasing attention in Sweden. In the discussion on how HRVO must be combated, attitude change interventions targeting boys and young men have been emphasized as an important measure.
Purpose: The overall aim of this study is to elucidate and compare the participants’ attitudes towards honour, masculinity and virginity in a retrospective perspective i.e. before and after their attendance in an attitude change program.
Method: The study is based on a content analysis of individual in-depth and focus group interviews with participants and leaders of an attitude change project called “Sharaf Heroes”.
Findings: This study indicates that honour-based norms and values are very persistent which requires both an uncompromising and an arduously intervention targeting attitude change.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/res.v4n2p22

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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