The Role of Honor Concerns in Disclosing (vs. Hiding) COVID-19 Diagnosis: Insights from Türkiye

Ceylan-Batur S., Doğulu C., Akbaş G., YET B., Uskul A. K.

Sex Roles, vol.89, no.7-8, pp.409-424, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 89 Issue: 7-8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11199-023-01373-x
  • Journal Name: Sex Roles
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Periodicals Index Online, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Gender Studies Database, Index Islamicus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.409-424
  • Keywords: COVID-19, Gender, Hiding and disclosing diagnosis, Honor culture, Integrity, Reputation, Türkiye
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


Members of honor cultures value engaging in moral behaviors and managing their social image to maintain their honor. These two goals reflect reputation and integrity concerns, which also have bearing on gender roles. In the current study, we examined a) evaluations of women and men described as diagnosed with COVID-19 and as either hiding or disclosing their diagnosis, b) the moderating role of honor concerns (reputation and integrity) and the gender of the infected person in these evaluations, and c) the relationship between honor concerns and individuals’ own disclosure preferences among participants living in Türkiye, a country that exemplifies an honor culture. Findings revealed that participants with stronger reputation concerns evaluated a woman’s hiding behavior more favorably than that of a man’s. Moreover, higher integrity concerns were associated with lower levels of participants’ own preference to hide a diagnosis for both men and women, whereas reputation concerns were positively associated with a preference for hiding a diagnosis among men only. Furthermore, a content analysis of participants’ open-ended explanations of their views on women’s and men’s motivation to hide a diagnosis revealed further evidence for the gendered nature of reputation concerns. Our findings point to the importance of prioritizing integrity concerns (and downplaying reputation concerns) in public health campaigns in honor cultures.