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The relationship between gender and suicide has been extensively researched by Western sociologists, given that males die much more often by means of suicide than do females, although reported suicide attempts are more common among females.

Some medical professionals[who?] believe this stems from the fact that males are more likely to end their lives through effective violent means (guns, knives, hanging, etc.), while women primarily use less severe methods such as overdosing on medications[1][2].

The incidence of successful suicide is vastly higher among males than females among all age groups in most of the world. In the United States, the ratio varies between 3:1 to 10:1[3].

Some[who?] ascribe the disparity to inherent differences in male/female psychology. Greater social stigma against male depression and a lack of social networks of support and help with depression are often identified as key reasons for men's disproportionately higher level of suicides, since suicide as a "cry for help" is not seen by men as an equally viable option.[citation needed]

File:Suicide by region, white men.png

United States suicide rates for white men, by Health Service Area, 1988–1992. This map and the map at right use the same color scale: note the large difference in rates between men and women. The regional patterns for men and women are similar, but not the same.[4]

File:Suicide by region, white women.png

United States suicide rates for white women, by Health Service Area, 1988–1992.[4]

Typically males die from suicide three to four times more often as females, and not unusually five or more times as often. CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably is a charity in the UK that attempts to highlight this issue for public discussion.

Excess male mortality from suicide is also evident from data from non-Western countries. In 1979-81, out of 74 countries with a non-zero suicide rate, two reported equal rates for the sexes (Seychelles and Kenya), three reported female rates exceeding male rates (Papua-New Guinea, Macau, and French Guiana), while the remaining 69 countries had male suicide rates greater than female suicide rates.[5]

Barraclough found that the female rates of those aged 5–14 equaled or exceeded the male rates only in 14 countries, mainly in South America and Asia.[6]

China is the only country in the world where more women than men take their own lives, with female suicides representing 58 percent of the total.[7]

Suicides per 100,000 people per year[8]
Rank Country Males Females Total Year
1 Template:Country data Lithuania 68.1 12.9 38.6 2005
2 Template:Country data Belarus 63.3 10.3 35.1 2003
3 Template:Country data Russia 58.1 9.8 32.2 2005
4 Template:Country data Slovenia 42.1 11.1 26.3 2006
5 Template:Country data Hungary 42.3 11.2 26.0 2005
6 Template:Country data Kazakhstan 45.0 8.1 25.9 2005
7 Template:Country data Latvia 42.0 9.6 24.5 2005


  1. "Suicide Statistics at". Suicide prevention, awareness, and support. 2005. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  2. "Are There Gender Differences in Suicide Methods?". 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  3. "Teen Suicide Statistics". Adolescent Teenage Suicide Prevention. 2001. Retrieved 2006-04-11.
  4. 4.0 4.1 radical cartographers unite
  5. Lester, Patterns, Table 3.3, pp. 31-33
  6. Barraclough BM (1987). "Sex ratio of juvenile suicide" ([dead link]). J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 26 (3): 434–5. doi:10.1097/00004583-198705000-00027. PMID 3496328.
  7. "China's suicide rate roaring". Straits Time. 2008.
  8. Country reports and charts available, World Health Organization. Retrieved March 16, 2008.

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