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Is patriarchy the source of men's higher mortality?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Clare Bambra



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by BMJ Group, 2005.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Objective: To examine the relation between levels of patriarchy and male health by comparing female homicide rates with male mortality within countries. Hypothesis: High levels of patriarchy in a society are associated with increased mortality among men. Design: Cross sectional ecological study design. Setting: 51 countries from four continents were represented in the data—America, Europe, Australasia, and Asia. No data were available for Africa. Results: A multivariate stepwise linear regression model was used. Main outcome measure was age standardised male mortality rates for 51 countries for the year 1995. Age standardised female homicide rates and GDP per capita ranking were the explanatory variables in the model. Results were also adjusted for the effects of general rates of homicide. Age standardised female homicide rates and ranking of GDP were strongly correlated with age standardised male mortality rates (Pearson’s r = 0.699 and Spearman’s 0.744 respectively) and both correlations achieved significance (p<0.005). Both factors were subsequently included in the stepwise regression model. Female homicide rates explained 48.8% of the variance in male mortality, and GDP a further 13.6% showing that the higher the rate of female homicide, and hence the greater the indicator of patriarchy, the higher is the rate of mortality among men. Conclusion: These data suggest that oppression and exploitation harm the oppressors as well as those they oppress, and that men’s higher mortality is a preventable social condition, which could be tackled through global social policy measures.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stanistreet D, Bambra C, Scott-Samuel A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

Year: 2005

Volume: 59

Issue: 10

Pages: 873-876

Print publication date: 01/10/2005

Online publication date: 15/09/2005

Date deposited: 04/02/2017

ISSN (print): 0143-005X

ISSN (electronic): 1470-2738

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/jech.2004.030387


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