The gender (male to female) ratio of the Chinese suicide rates is different from those found in the rest of the world. None of the other societies with known suicide data has had female suicide rates higher than those for the males. While we investigate the factors that contribute to the relatively high suicide rates for Chinese women, we also need to ask what makes the relatively low suicide rates for Chinese men. In this study we try to examine some social and cultural variables in rural Chinese youths in order to identify the factors that account for the relatively low rate for men and relatively high rate for women. In rural China, 392 suicides (both men and women) aged 14–35 years consecutively sampled from 16 counties of three provinces were studied with 416 community living controls of the same age range and from the same locations. Case–control psychological autopsy method was used for the data collection. It is found that believing in Confucianism and being married are both protecting the rural young men from suicide, while the two same variables are either risk or non-protecting factors for the Chinese rural young women’s suicide. In rural China, social structure and culture may play an even more important role determining a society’s suicide rates as well as the gender ratios. Thus, suicide prevention may need to include culture specific measures.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 22, 2013
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