Kind of a weird question...

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by worlds edge, May 11, 2007.

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  1. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than females (CDC 2004).


    Women report attempting suicide during their lifetime about three times as often as men (Krug et al. 2002).

    Quotes taken from this site:

    I was surprised when I read this, I had no idea there were such disparate figures between the genders. (Admittedly these numbers are strictly from the US, I wonder if they apply world-wide?)

    Anyone have any thoughts why this should be the case? A couple of ideas that occurred to me, not sure if they make any sense: :unsure:

    • Men are just more aggressive on average than women. Thus, when the aggression is directed inward men are more likely to use truly violent methods and on that basis they "succeed" in their attempts more often then women.
    • Men don't talk, and when they do talk they lie about their feelings. Thus the number of attempts by men is understated to a large, possbily vast, degree.
    • The figures above reflect a very sick American culture that makes things like handguns or short barreled shotguns easily available. In other words, they're not applicable elsewhere and don't reflect other "Western" societies, never mind Asian or African ones. (And presumably these figures could be radically changed via a change of culture.)
    • There's still an unfortunate element of "patriarchy" in American culture. Thus, the number of reported suicides by women is understated, due to a misplaced sense of chivalry or some equivalent.
    • Women are somehow more willing to call attention to themselves via a suicide attempt. Men looking for attention are more likely to direct their anger or feelings outward...and in consquence more likely to find themselves in a prison than a mental hospital.

    If anyone is annoyed that I've trotted out a whole load of stereotypes, I apologize in advance. I'd be more than happy to drop all of the above when presented with a better explanation. Just that I was bit startled to see such wide differences between genders.
  2. reborn1961

    reborn1961 Guest

    Is this a real question or an America bashing? Your ideas as to why the numbers differ start out as sound but then you start attacking America as if a country is responsible for a persons suicide. I think you have good ideas but you have tarnished them with the attacks.
    Approaching a subject without bias makes your thoughts more valid. Good luck.
  3. paranoidxe

    paranoidxe Well-Known Member

    I think its pretty easy to see society is frowned upon for males to show emotion..specifically crying because they either get picked on by other males or other people see it as them being a sissy. So thats 1, Holding emotions in.

    Second, In most cases the man is responsible to put food on the table, work and pay the bills, while women have it easier because their general job is to take care of the kids and do house work in which there are no deadlines that really need to be made.

    Guys in general just have more pressure than women, society expects the guy to do a lot more in a relationship or in life than a woman.
  4. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Didn't mean it to be. I am an American, after all. And, yes, it is a real question.

    Funny, this didn't even occur to me. I thought I'd get misunderstood as being sexist or some such thing, not this.

    55% of all American suicides are by firearm, per that link I posted, if that's what you're trying to get me on. As in, 16,000 or so per year. This is how a healthy society operates? The counter, of course, would be to somehow show that the vast bulk of these suicides would've used other methods.

    I don't think a country does, but I think a culture/society very definitely does. They're two very different things.

    I have no problem with being shown I'm wrong about this...Are you saying the USA is in fact by and large a healthy society? Or, alternatively, that the society in which one finds oneself play little or no role?

    Actually, good ideas are what I lack, at least here. I saw these weird numbers and big variations by gender. And the only explanations I could come up with were unsatisfactory. So, I figured I'd see if somebody else has any better ideas or at rate a more plausible explanation(s).

    Perhaps you could start a thread about how wonderfully healthy a society the USA is to show me where I'm wrong?

    Huh? I posted suicide statistics for the USA by gender. I doubtless have my biases, but I didn't think they were evident here. They're not my numbers.
  5. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    I can't say why the numbers differ so much, but I do know men are more likely to choose a violent method whereas women generally do not.

    Paranoidxe, I do not agree with your stereotyping of men versus womens roles at all. In todays society, in the US at least, women are under just as much pressure to provide for their familiews as men. And to state they "just" stay home and take care of the children. What an understatement.

    "women have it easier because their general job is to take care of the kids and do house work in which there are no deadlines that really need to be made."

    I could challenge about everything in this statement, but I do not wish to cause any disagreements.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2007
  6. tphillip

    tphillip Member

    I'm confused when you say the US has a "very sick culture". If you're going to go by suicide rates as a measure of "health", then the US isn't doing too badly when compared to other Western states. Given the choices, I'd say we're not as sick as you want us to be.

    Suicide rates are a lot higher in Japan than the US, and their gun control is probably the strictest in all western nations. Look at the Scandanavian rates: they're higher than the US and they have very strong gun control laws.

    Suicide Rates of Countries Compiled by the WHO

    Guns are a great tool for committing suicide, but they have nothing to do with the root causes of it. Don't focus on a tool and blame it for the actions of its user.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2007
  7. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member


    Fair enough. But what other explanation(s) make(s) sense? And, FWIW, I thought I was "stereotyping" men at least as much as I was women.

    Where did I say anything remotely like this? :blink:
    Edit: my error. I guess you were still referencing paranoidxe.
  8. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    It's not a difference that occurs in the US only. I know not everyone likes or trusts Wikipedia but there's a number of other sources that have similar results to this:
    It's odd that you said that as there is a strong belief that many cases of depression among men go unreported due to them not seeking help, which ties into your second point about not talking about their feelings. If anything, suicidal thoughts and attempts kept hidden by the men themselves are part of the misleading statistics.
  9. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    Sorry for the confusion gmork. I was still referring to a different post. I wish I had the answers you seek, but I don't. I have no expertise here, only my own thoughts with nothing besides myself to back them up, so I won't include them here. I also was not referring to you as the one stereotyping. I guess I really messed up my first post if that is how you perceived it. I am sorry.
  10. paranoidxe

    paranoidxe Well-Known Member

    Don't tell me the guy doesn't have more responsibility than the woman in a average MOST cases he does. Seen it with friends, seen it with my parents, seen it with co-workers.

    If you don't think this world is bias with women then you've been living under a rock. Why do you think when you get a divorce the guy gets the short end of the stick? Because it is his job in society to provide for the woman..not the other way around.

    Guys can't express themselves to friends because in most cases they are either not sympathetic or they'll call you a wimp. Guys can't cry or you are viewed as a pussy.

    Granted not all women have it easy thats not what I'm saying, and I'm not saying sitting at home and watching kids all day is a cake job either..I'm saying the man's job is harder in a stress sense.

    Single Mothers in fact have it the hardest having to both provide and watch kids, but from a typical couple stand point the man usually has the more stressful job..deadlines, bills, etc.

    I'm not being SEXIST either so please don't intrepret it that way.
  11. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Kind of a weird first post here, isn't it?

    Fair enough, I stand corrected on guns. Availability of firearms has nothing to do with suicide, or at any rate aggregate suicide rates. And the US suicide rates are not only lower than the countries you mention, they're lower than most of the rest of Europe as well.


    I don't think I ever said this, did I?

    Thanks for this link, I appreciate it. The interesting thing about this link is the male vs. female rates. Everywhere except China where the female rate is actually higher and arguably in Japan where where they're juat about even.

    I read this last part wrong. The male rate in Japan is higher, by quite a bit.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2007
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