‘What people say’ or ‘What people might say’ is a strong constraint on actions.
The use of oaths in such profusion in many Middle Eastern societies illustrates the lengths to which people go to avoid being shamed.
Shame comes from being a ‘bad’ person. One may lose esteem through cowardice, having no money, being menial, remaining unmarried, letting down one’s family or religion. Sexuality is a great cornerstone of honour and the likeliest cause of shame.