Talk:Gender differences in suicide

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Can somebody do something about the diagrams that show suicide rates in the United States? They should probably be placed under the global suicide rate diagrams, to make the text wider.

Gender vs. Sex[edit]

Technically, this article should be called Sex and Suicide, as gender is different than sex. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Watersoftheoasis (talkcontribs) 01:54, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

I think "Sex and suicide" would definitely give the wrong idea about what this article is about... — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 09:58, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I think a more useful change would be to include information about transgendered persons and suicide. LadyofShalott 01:43, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
It is true that gender is different from sex, but gender is made up of the social roles and expectations associated with being a certain sex, and that is what this article is tying to suicide rates. The article does not assert that men are genetically more likely to commit suicide and therefore it does not make sense to title it Sex differences in suicide. I think the title should be changed back. Weatherby551 (talk) 16:21, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Weatherby551. Sex differences in suicide implies that there is a biological basis for men committing suicide more frequently than women. The scholarly literature I have found does not indicate that this is the case. The suicide gap in the western world is based primarily around social constructions of gender. Now that the page has been edited to draw a distinction between gender and sex, I think that the title should be changed back. CoeA (talk) 16:42, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

I have changed the name of the page from "Sex differences in suicide" to "Gender differences in suicide". I believe this change reflects the subject matter that is in the article while conforming to the Wikipedia standards that led to the original name change. CoeA (talk) 04:53, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. This title better reflects the terminology used in the articles cited and current scholarly practice.DStrassmann (talk) 12:12, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

M/F ratio age 20-24[edit]

"American males between the ages of 20 and 24 have a suicide rate that is seven times higher than that of women."

The graph says the M/F ratio 20-24 is 5.1 (as of 2005). Am I missing something? I'm going to get rid of the line (since the rate of 5.1 is of no special deviation) until someone can explain what I might be missing.

Revising and cleaning up Gender and suicide[edit]

Hello All. I am a student at Rice University and I am planning on editing and improving this page over the course of the next few weeks. As it stands the page has no introduction, no sections, and isn't very well organized. I hope to go through the current information and clean up/consolidate what is currently there. Particularly, I want to present the statistics that are on the page in a more readable manner. I will also clarify the difference between gender and sex, as the article focuses on the latter despite its title. Currently the article primarily discusses the US, Western Europe, and China; it is my goal to include some information about the gender/suicide disparity in other countries, particularly those of Asia and Africa. In doing so, I hope to also be able to add additional material about the social causes of the suicide gap. If I have enough time, I will also try to address some LGBT-related suicide issues, as I believe this will fall under the umbrella of 'gender'. I would appreciate any comments or tips, as I am still a fairly new editor. I am looking forward to expanding this page, as I feel this is an important issue that isn't well-developed yet on Wikipedia!

CoeA (talk) 02:54, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I just submitted my changes to the article. Almost all of the original information, with the exception of a few uncited claims, is still in the current version. I just tried to reorganize the headings and make everything look a little cleaner. There's also some new information about factors that have helped cause the gender paradox. I agree with Lady of Shallot that the article could definitely benefit from more information about transgendered individuals. I may try to tackle this on my own, but I would appreciate the advice of someone with more knowledge in the field.

CoeA (talk) 20:40, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

After reading your article I have a few suggestions for possible revisions. One small suggestion is switching your second and third sentence in the lead section as readers may like to know what the gap is before the fact that they vary by country. Additionally you switch tenses from present to past tense. I also think moving the methods section after factors of gender paradox will give the article more balance and help maintain a more neutral point of view from the beginning. I was left wondering about other explanations outside of gendered expectations until the very end. This might help to make your article more neutral by its function as an additional explanations aside from gendered expectations on men and women. Additionally is there any follow up data on the preventative programs that are targeted at certain genders? This might be helpful to include in this section. I also think the first line in the U.S. section on global trends of suicide is confusing. Could you maybe clarify the couple opening lines? Do suicide ratios vary by year or state or age group? The sentence, “typically males die from suicide three to four times more often as females, and not unusually five or more times as often” is also confusing. Finally the section on Non-western nations could be expanded and fleshed out. Right now it just feels like a bunch of facts in a row. I think you have a great article so far and your facts are well researched and informative! Great job so far; I think you have a great entry and keep up the good work!

Risadieken (talk) 00:44, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

CoeA, Your contribution has added a lot to the article, and definitely made it much easier to read and understand. In addition to the improvements suggested by Risadieken above, I have a few comments myself! I think that you could expand your overview in addition to just re-arranging it. You could add some information about the different types of explanation for the difference (sociological differences vs. physical differences in methods vs. different expectations). This could help readers better mentally outline your article and have a good frame for approaching reading it. In terms of a few Wiki notes, you have a fair number of links and good citations, but your links could be a little more balanced and plentiful (for example in "Factors" section you link for hegemonic masculinity but not femininity). If you can, look at adding more links and explanations from the perspective of someone who knows very little about sociology.

I think Risadieken's suggestion to move the "Methods" section up is a good one, and also think that you can improve a lot of your section titles. Methods could expand a little bit to something like Differing methods by gender-- the paragraph isn't actually a replacement for the suicide methods article, but is an analysis of how males and females typically use different methods. You could also maybe consider moving the Methods section inside of your "Gender Paradox" main section to give it more context.

Lastly, your charts and pictures look great, but could be improved. In the table it's unclear of what time period the data came from. A user has to scroll down to the reverences section to check and see the publish date of the source, but that still doesn't tell what date range the information in the table actually covers. The two maps of the US are also a little old-- are there updated versions available from the same organizations? It would be interesting to see if the rates changed with the financial crisis and economic downturn. Overall though this is a great contribution thus far. The article is much improved from its previous versions. Good luck with the rest of your edits, and message me if you would like any more comments or clarifications.

matt.9.johnson (talk) 17:23, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Risadieken and Matt.9.johnson
Thank you for your comments! You definitely gave me some useful tips to work with. Your perspectives helped me recognize some major problems that still need to be addressed. I think the reason the article might seem a little disjointed (mixed tenses, weird section order, outdated graphs) is because I was hesitant to rewrite and delete previous information from the article. I ended up inserting some older sentences into newer edits because they seemed to flow better. I will make sure to go back through and update the older information. I'm not quite sure how to change the coding for the graphs, so I may reach out for help from another editor. I'll do my best to clarify and expand the sections that you both found confusing. As it stands I am using some of the most up to date literature, but I will do my best to try and find sources that address male suicide rates in response to more recent economic events.
Thanks for taking the time to give me some feedback. If any other editors are watching this page and want to make changes, I think you've given them somewhere to start as well. CoeA (talk) 01:34, 8 April 2013 (UTC)


Concerning this text:-

"One common explanation relies on the social constructions of hegemonic masculinity and femininity. In a review of the literature on gender and suicide, male suicide rates were explained in terms of traditional gender roles. Male gender roles tend to emphasize greater levels of strength, independence, and risk-taking behavior.[7]"

This is a misleading representation of the citation, which for instance clearly says:-

"In short, then, suicide is clearly the result of a complex interaction of a number of precipitating factors and, in this review, we have focused on the social determinants of suicide."

The reader atm is being misled and this seems like point pushing. Also is this "explanation " common? I'd edit myself but will probably get blocked. CSDarrow (talk) 19:40, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

"reported suicide attempts are 3 times more common among females than males"[edit]

The full citation isn't given, but I'm looking at and all I see is "keep in mind that there are about 3 female attempts for every male attempt" and "3 female attempts for each male attempt" but no actual data. showed rates per 1000 in the US of 0.4 for men and 0.5 for women, a ratio of 4:5 (see table 1). I therefore propose to remove the 3:1 figure which is currently unsupported by actual data and replace with the 5:4 figure derived from the 1058 suicide attempts recorded in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, United States, 2008-2009. Double Happiness (talk) 13:45, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

The second citation on that (Crosby et al.) actually shows no statistical difference between suicide attempts between females and males, although it does suggest women are more likely to have suicidal thoughts. Has anyone seen any research that actually indicates females attempt suicide more often than males? --Cperryk (talk) 03:08, 11 December 2013 (UTC)


I reverted an edit claiming that the source didn't list 30% as an actual amount - however the person who edited was looking at the wrong article, and not the one cited. Countered (talk) 00:58, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

"More than 30% of all deaths to rural females 15 to 29 years of age are due to suicide."

"The comparatively low suicide rate (4.8 per 100,000 population)" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Countered (talkcontribs)

I removed the sentence "It has been found that suicide makes up for about 30% of deaths of women living in rural China." again because, firstly, it is obviously bs (in the available articles it is mentioned that the suicide rate in rural china is about 3x higher than in urban areas, which would keep it in the ppm region per year and still at most in the low percent region over a lifetime), secondly, it is not contained in the cited reference and thirdly, even though it is contained in the reference cited above, the citation IT refers to (Phillips (or Phyllips? there is inconsistency withing the cited article) et. al) is nowhere to be found (it was only presented at a conference). --Felix Tritschler (talk) 23:09, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Felix Tritschler The ref is clear. If you want to remove that sentence, you'll need other refs refuting it. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 02:53, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
I did, by saying that "in the (other) available articles (cited here) it is mentioned that the suicide rate in rural china is about 3x higher than in urban areas, which would keep it in the ppm region per year and still at most in the low percent region over a lifetime. So I removed this sentence again. --Felix Tritschler (talk) 18:51, 19 September 2014 (UTC)


The current table is outdated and for an unknown reason features US, as if the information presented is somehow promotional of the states. ( (talk) 01:14, 16 May 2014 (UTC))

Thank you for pointing that out. I updated the numbers using the WHO database as recommended on the WHO suicide prevention page. Per WP:CALC, I used the most recent and most complete data possible (2009 seemed like best year as 2010 was missing quite a few) to find the top 10 suicide rates. You can find the Excel file I used to sort the rates at this link. Cheers. EvergreenFir (talk) 03:12, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Nice work whoever's had a shot at this page.

It is very difficult to choose a 'representative' sample of countries as an illustration. Perhaps one parameter might be significant countries mentioned in the text, and then maybe adding a range of countries that includes some that are likely to be familiar to readers (bearing in mind it is an English language Wiki), some to achieve balance simply from the size or international activity of countries and get a balance of ethnicities. The inclusion of Latvia for instance, seems a little strange strange.

I didn't manage to quite the same figures using the WHO tool, which is admittedly a bit fiddly, nor did I see the suicides listed as per hundred thousand, although that is good that the researchers have got those figures. This paper lists them all but just for 1999 (not for quotation).

The statement, "For males the rate of attempted suicide remains fairly constant when controlled for age," has not been supported with a source and perhaps needs to be clarified or expanded. We notice a very large difference by age in this study: "Gender and Ethnic Differences in Older Adult Suicide" (table 1):

One or two other papers that might be of interest...

sorry I'm not signed in — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:30, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Evolutionary Explanations Missing[edit]

My prose isn't good enough to actually make an addition, but I think a evolutionary perspective is needed. The theory argues that men die of suicide more often than women because they do not value their lives as much as women. Since men are not essential to the survival of their offspring, and their potential for reproduction is much more varied, men have evolved to be less fearful of taking risks than women have. If a woman under natural conditions were to die, her children would most likely die as well. Therefore women have evolved to be more fearful of death and physical risk than men, and are therefore less likely to die of suicide. Under this theory suicide is just an expression of males' general willingness to take risks [1] [2]

Chimes of Freedom (talk) 00:21, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

I agree that an evolutionary perspective is relevant here, and should be added.
For starters, see this brief overview: Is killing yourself adaptive? That depends: An evolutionary theory about suicide. Memills (talk) 16:36, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Original Research[edit]

"This is likely due to several factors, including a higher risk for depression among females in the United State" k, but this is original research aka made up bullshit and needs to be removed Bumblebritches57 (talk) 21:24, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Um... that's not WP:OR since it's cited by an WP:RS. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 22:14, 13 August 2014 (UTC)