Islam and Patriarchy: How Robust is Muslim Support for Patriarchal Values ?

Research output: Working paperWorking papers


Evidence that Muslims support patriarchal values more than Non-Muslims is abundant but the nature of this evidence is contested. The cultural interpretation suggests that patriarchal values are an inherent element of Muslim identity. The structural interpretation holds that patriarchal values reside in structural characteristics and have little to do with Muslim identity. Evidence on these contradictory claims is inconclusive. Neither have advocates of the cultural position shown that Muslim support for patriarchal values remains robust under control of structural characteristics; nor have proponents of the structural position demonstrated that Muslim support for these values vanishes under such controls. Filling this gap, we use multi-level models to test whether Muslim support for patriarchal values vanishes under control of patriarchy structural underpinnings. We find that Muslim support for patriarchal values is robust against various controls. And, we identify mosque attendance as a mechanism to sustain Muslim support for patriarchy in Non-Muslim societies. Yet, rising levels of education, labor market participation, and a glacial emancipative trend diminish Muslim support for patriarchy, especially among women.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWorld Values Survey Association
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2011