"In the developed Western countries the number of men committing suicide is three times more than that of women. However, women are more likely to attempt suicide than men (Kaplan and Sadock, 2003). This is not a recent phenomenon, as in the nineteenth century Durkheim (1897) pointed out a similar gap in suicide mortality among men and women; but the difference became more apparent in the last decades of the twentieth century. There are many ways to explain why completed suicides are more prevalent in men; however, they do not explain the relatively low female suicide rates all over the world. Two approaches arise about gender differences in suicide: 'why suicide rates are so high among males?' or 'why they are significantly lower in females?' The answer to these questions lies within the multi-dimensional quality of suicidal behaviour, namely that completed and attempted suicides are not different phenomena, and many times often the reasons, the mechanisms and the methods are the same in both cases, only the outcome differs…"
"The main hypotheses – aimed to explain the higher suicide mortality in men – are the following: the higher lethality of male suicide methods; the reluctance of men to seek help, the higher rate of substance (especially alcohol) abuse; and some socio-cultural differences. There has been a significant rise in the number of suicide rates among young males and a decline in rates among – especially elderly – females in numerous Western countries in recent years (Hawton, 1998)."
('Suicidal Behaviour: Assessment of people-at-risk' Ed: Updesh Kumar and Manas K. Mandal, p. 136 Sage)
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