Index of Patriarchy

The Index of Patriarchy is an 11-item measure of familial behavior that reflect varying degrees of sex and age-related social inequality across different societal and family settings. The index is comprised of four domains or clusters of patriarchy: domination of men over women, domination of the older generation over the younger generation, patrilocality, and son preference. Each cluster includes one or more variables which capture that domain of patriarchy.


Geographies Tested: Albania,Austria,Bulgaria,Denmark,France,Germany,Hungary,Italy,Lithuania,Poland,Russia,Serbia,Turkey

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Cluster 1: Domination of men over women
1. (1.1) Proportion of female household heads among all adult (aged 20+) household heads of family households
2. (1.2) Proportion of young brides (i.e. ever-married women in the 15-19 age group)
3. (1.3) Proportion of wives who are older than their husbands (if more than one wife, consider first wife only)
4. (1.4) Proportion of young women living as non-kin (i.e. women age 20-34 who live as non-kin in the household)

Cluster 2: Domination of the older generation over the younger generation
5. (2.1) Proportion of elderly men (aged 65+) co-residing with a younger household head
6. (2.2) Proportion of neolocal residence among men (i.e. ever-married men age 20-29)
7. (2.3) Proportion of elderly people (aged 65+) living with at least one lateral relative
8. (2.4) Proportion of elderly people (aged 65+) living in joint residence (i.e., two or more married children in same household)

Cluster 3: Patrilocality
9. (3.1) Proportion of elderly people (aged 65+) living with at least one married daughter

Cluster 4: Son preference
10. (4.1) Proportion of boys among the last child (boy as last child)
11. (4.2) Sex ratio (i.e number of boys to 100 girls) in the youngest age group (age 0-4)

Response options:
Not applicable.

Scoring Procedures

The Index of Patriarchy is calculated based on patriarchy scores of the four clusters. All variables are converted to patriarchy points ranging from a 0 to 10. For son preference variables, cut-off values are used to assign patriarchy points. Cut-off values are 0.51 for variable 4.1 (boy as last child) and 105 for variable 4.2 (sex ratio). Patriarchy scores for each cluster are then calculated by adding the patriarchy points of the subsumed variables. The final Index of Patriarchy is determined by adding the mean patriarchy score for each cluster; final scores range from 0 to 40 with higher scores indicating higher patriarchy.

Original Citation

Gruber, S., & Szoltysek, M. (2016) The patriarchy index: A comparative study of power relations across historical Europe. The History of the Family, 21(2),133-174.

Psychometric Score

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Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


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