The high suicide rates for men

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The high suicide rates for men

Postby Luke » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:29 pm

I find the fact that the suicide rates for men are so high in both the US and the UK quite tragic. However, this fact seem to get very little attention from the media and from society at large. What are your ideas about how we can help these thousands upon thousands of suicidal men?

"Male suicide rate in UK discovered to be 3½ times that of women"
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014 ... ns-bristol

"Men’s Suicide Rate is 3 Times That of Women"
http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/06/11 ... 55897.html
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby kirtu » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:50 pm

This is largely attributable to the collapse of the economic systems in the US and the UK. The spike in the UK is however less easy to explain because it does have a social safety net that people can survive with (the US does not). So it may be more people who were formerly comfortably employed at some level loosing status as well as income causing them to end their lives.

However the second link presents evidence to the contrary:
Unemployment was the strongest social risk factor among women, whereas being single was the strongest among men.


This observation pertains to men in the US. Data I saw a few years ago indicated that while being single was a factor, sudden or prolonged un-/under-employment definitely created a suicide spike amoungst men in the US.

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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby AlexanderS » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:21 pm

I think the reason that the suicide rate is higher in men is because men are simply more effective killing themselves. I think more women attempt suicide, but more men die from suicide.

I think one of the reasons for male suicides is the macho culture prevalent in most of our societies where showing vulnerability is considered feminine.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:15 pm

Unfortunately, in harsh economies, men suffer more, because of the additional burdens that they have for supporting their families - women rarely have this burden and aren't expected to have it. Men are expected to be able to deal with their emotions, whereas women are given support when they have difficulties.

A big issue in visibility is the discussion of statistics. It's actually pretty rare to see discussion of suicide rates where they even point out that it is mostly men, usually they'll leave out mention of sex. It's also rare to see this when discussing homelessness, they'll mention that homelessness increases, and that 25% are parents, but usually omit that 90% of the homeless are men. The same with violent deaths, most violent deaths are those of men, but when women die violently there will be a particularly higher outrage and more reporting.

This is one of the issues with the gender neutral language for professions that largely are still male, and which have higher than average mortality: police officer, rather than police man; firefighter; worker, etc. So if statistics are given for police officer deaths, while 4000 in UK history were male and 44 were female, the use of language obscures the fact that this is a particularly male issue, and that we need to provide more support to both sexes.

There's also little to no support given to men who get into marriages or start families that fall apart. You'll find plenty of shelters for women and their children, but none for men and their children (here in Canada there was one in the 90s, but it got no funding and closed). Women are also given more excuses if they kill their spouses - most spousal attacks are against men - they even have their own disease that causes them to do it, "battered wife syndrome," but no "battered husband syndrome," despite the fact that women feel like they have free license to hit men, and most men would never hit a woman.

Real sex-inequalities in the world go unnoticed. Sometimes I wonder if it is really better karma to be reborn as a man, since it seems women get all the good treatment. They also live longer than men because they have immense sex-specific disease treatment, whereas men are lumped into a general pool of miscellaneous diseases.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby Qianxi » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:28 pm

Similar topic: report on deliberate self harm gender balance by age (in US I think):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18389640
While the overall gender rate ratio was 1.5 females to each male, the ratio varied considerably by age group: 8:1 in 10-14-year-olds, 3.1:1 in 15-19-year-olds, 1.6:1 in 20-24-year-olds, approximately 1.3:1 in 25-49-year-olds, and 0.8:1 in people aged 50 years and over.

When you get into your fifties for the first time there are actually more men self harming than women. The 8:1 girls:boys ratio in 10-14 year olds is quite striking too.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby greentara » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:38 pm

The economic situation in some countries is so bad that men seem to be losing their confidence and footing in society. You must somehow earn a living, cringe before officialdom and the law, protect mental health , insure against loss, can anyone or anything really be trusted?
I really believe that holding fast to the words of the Buddha are sometimes the last refuge in this changing and toxic atmosphere. People are now aspirational but nothing really inspires them.....the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker all talk about fiscal policies and their portfolios. Its more than sad, this global economic situation have left many men floundering and on the scrap heap.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby shaunc » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:53 am

It'd be interesting to see how many of these men have had to deal with marriage break down & the family courts in the previous year or two. This phenomena is not only linked to unemployment in the U.S & U.K. The rate is also quite high in Australia, yet our unemployment levels are not as bad.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby rory » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:03 am

Women have close friendships and talk about their problems, their sex lives, everything with other women, they get advice, find release feel supported. It's very good for mental health. If a woman feels depressed she can talk about it openly and her female friends will advice her to seek counselling This is regarded as a good thing and not a sign of weakness. Men's culture forbids this kind of close bonding between men, men must be strong, stoic, they can't cry or ask to be hugged or discuss their emotional lives or even feel depressed, sad, unfulfilled. Actually they can maybe with their wife; if their wife leaves they are emotionally alone and abandoned. No wonder they commit suicide more often.

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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby theanarchist » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:37 pm

My guess is that if men try to commit suicide they are more likely to succeed than women because their choice of method is different.

I also think that women are more likely talking about their problems than men. Also women are not under so much social pressure to be "successful"
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:45 pm

AlexanderS wrote:I think the reason that the suicide rate is higher in men is because men are simply more effective killing themselves. I think more women attempt suicide, but more men die from suicide.

theanarchist wrote:My guess is that if men try to commit suicide they are more likely to succeed than women because their choice of method is different.

Kind of reminds me of that scene from "Barcelona":
Woman: You can't say Americans are not more violent than other people.
Fred: No.
Woman: All those people killed in shootings in America?
Fred: Oh, shootings, yes. But that doesn't mean Americans are more violent than other people. We're just better shots.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:09 am

The increased pressure to perform and produce to survive in modern society is at play here. Both men and women have a harder time maintaining the lifestyles of their families. Once again living in extended family units is a possible way to address this increasing unsustainability.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:05 am

JKhedrup wrote:The increased pressure to perform and produce to survive in modern society is at play here. Both men and women have a harder time maintaining the lifestyles of their families. Once again living in extended family units is a possible way to address this increasing unsustainability.


Indeed. It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain familiar standards of living to the point people feel they've failed at life when it becomes necessary to visibly downgrade.

For example in the US and other western countries real wages haven't really risen to accommodate inflation, which is why in the 70s people could work the same hours they do now for a lot more earnings and comforts:

Image

This chart compares the growth of inflation (red line) and real wages (blue line). Since going off the Gold Standard completely in 1971, inflation has skyrocketed and is beginning to outpace the growth of real wages.


http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/libr ... ion-growth

This is actually part of a secular cycle at work.

Peter Turchin:

    The very stability and internal peace that strong empires impose contain within them the seeds of future chaos. Stability and internal peace bring prosperity, and prosperity causes population increase. Demographic growth leads to overpopulation, overpopulation causes lower wages, higher land rents, and falling per capita incomes for the commoners. At first, low wages and high rents bring unparalleled wealth to the upper classes, but as their numbers and appetites grow, they also begin to suffer from falling incomes. Declining standards of life breed discontent and strife. The elites turn to the state for employment and additional income, and drive up its expenditures at the same time that the tax revenues decline because of the growing misery of the population. When the state’s finances collapse, it loses the control of the army and police. Freed from all restraints, strife among the elites escalates into civil war, while the discontent among the poor explodes into popular rebellions.


Peter Turchin, War and Peace and War The Rise and Fall of Empires, 13

This should sound familiar. The wealthy of the western world today are getting richer while much of the middle class is disintegrating, willing to work more for less.

Keep in mind this will undermine social cohesion over the long-term:
    Conspicuous consumption is inherently divisive because it draws boundaries between the haves and the have-nots. It elicits envy and weakens solidarity. But it is even more important as a symptom of deeper processes—growing inequality and within-group competition for resources and power that gradually undermine group solidarity.


Ibid., 235.

Ultimately the internal stress from these disintegrating factors is too much for many to bear. Failed expectations and inability to abide by social norms (like fulfilling the desires of one's parents to succeed and have as good or better a lifestyle than they did) can easily lead to depression and hopelessness, especially in a consumer society where many people judge their personal value by their assets and ability to consume products.

It will get worse before it gets better.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby michaelb » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:38 pm

Qianxi wrote:Similar topic: report on deliberate self harm gender balance by age (in US I think):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18389640
While the overall gender rate ratio was 1.5 females to each male, the ratio varied considerably by age group: 8:1 in 10-14-year-olds, 3.1:1 in 15-19-year-olds, 1.6:1 in 20-24-year-olds, approximately 1.3:1 in 25-49-year-olds, and 0.8:1 in people aged 50 years and over.

When you get into your fifties for the first time there are actually more men self harming than women. The 8:1 girls:boys ratio in 10-14 year olds is quite striking too.
Before it gets overlooked, I just thought I'd point out that suicide and self-harm are completely different behaviours with different motivations. Suicide isn't just a more extreme type of self harm and self harm isn't just a less final version of suicide.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby Qianxi » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:05 pm

michaelb wrote:
Qianxi wrote:Similar topic: report on deliberate self harm gender balance by age (in US I think):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18389640
While the overall gender rate ratio was 1.5 females to each male, the ratio varied considerably by age group: 8:1 in 10-14-year-olds, 3.1:1 in 15-19-year-olds, 1.6:1 in 20-24-year-olds, approximately 1.3:1 in 25-49-year-olds, and 0.8:1 in people aged 50 years and over.

When you get into your fifties for the first time there are actually more men self harming than women. The 8:1 girls:boys ratio in 10-14 year olds is quite striking too.
Before it gets overlooked, I just thought I'd point out that suicide and self-harm are completely different behaviours with different motivations. Suicide isn't just a more extreme type of self harm and self harm isn't just a less final version of suicide.

Thanks, that does make sense now that I think of it.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby theanarchist » Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:09 am

michaelb wrote:
Qianxi wrote:Similar topic: report on deliberate self harm gender balance by age (in US I think):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18389640
While the overall gender rate ratio was 1.5 females to each male, the ratio varied considerably by age group: 8:1 in 10-14-year-olds, 3.1:1 in 15-19-year-olds, 1.6:1 in 20-24-year-olds, approximately 1.3:1 in 25-49-year-olds, and 0.8:1 in people aged 50 years and over.

When you get into your fifties for the first time there are actually more men self harming than women. The 8:1 girls:boys ratio in 10-14 year olds is quite striking too.
Before it gets overlooked, I just thought I'd point out that suicide and self-harm are completely different behaviours with different motivations. Suicide isn't just a more extreme type of self harm and self harm isn't just a less final version of suicide.


You can't compare self harm and suicide. They have a completely different purpose.

Plus, males usually don't get into self harm because if young adolescent males have emotional problems they tend to act out their aggression and frustration on others, whereas females have a stronger tendency to act it out on themselves.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby odysseus » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:14 am

It´s a macho thing for us men. We want to be a samurai and do harakiri if we don´t get that nymphomaniac, how romantic isn´t suicide.

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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby Nighthawk » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:22 am

odysseus wrote:It´s a macho thing for us men. We want to be a samurai and do harakiri if we don´t get that nymphomaniac, how romantic isn´t suicide.

:toilet:


Maybe in Japan, but to me suicide sounds like a very cowardly thing to do.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby dzogchungpa » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:36 am

Schopenhauer wrote:They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice; that only a madman could be guilty of it; and other insipidities of the same kind; or else they make the nonsensical remark that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby theanarchist » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:33 pm

Schopenhauer wrote:They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice; that only a madman could be guilty of it; and other insipidities of the same kind; or else they make the nonsensical remark that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.


Having depression or another type of mental illness (the reason for most cases of suicide) has nothing to do with cowardice.
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Re: The high suicide rates for men

Postby Nighthawk » Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:04 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Having depression or another type of mental illness (the reason for most cases of suicide)


Which is why it's a good thing to adopt Buddhism as one's philosophy as the teachings promote emotional stability and as a result leads to resiliency.
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