By Brian Whitaker
"Research by the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University has discovered alarmingly high levels of support for 'honour' killings among Jordanian teenagers.
Such crimes are a particular problem in Jordan, where government efforts to discourage them have met stiff resistance from traditionalist elements.
In 2009, for instance, the King Hussein Foundation launched a two-year campaign (funded by the European Commission) with the slogan: "There is no honour in honour crimes". That has clearly had little effect in changing attitudes.
The Cambridge researchers' full report can be purchased online, but here is the university's summary of their findings:
A study into the attitude of teenagers in Jordan’s capital city of Amman reveals that almost half of boys and one in five girls believe that killing a daughter, sister or wife who has ‘dishonoured’ or shamed the family is justified. A third of all teenagers involved in the research advocated honour killing.
Importantly, the study found that these disturbing attitudes were not connected to religious beliefs. The research is published in the journal Aggressive Behavior.
Researchers surveyed over 850 students, and found that attitudes in support of honour killing are far more likely in adolescent boys with low education backgrounds.
After analysing the data, researchers concluded that religion and intensity of religious belief were not associated with support for honour killing. Instead, the main factors include patriarchal and traditional worldviews, emphasis placed on female ‘virtue’, and a more general belief that violence against others is morally justified....."