The Gender Ratio of Chinese Suicide Rates: An Explanation in Confucianism

The Gender Ratio of Chinese Suicide Rates: An Explanation in Confucianism 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

The Gender Ratio of Chinese Suicide Rates: An Explanation in Confucianism

Sex Roles , Volume 70 (4) – Dec 22, 2013
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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-013-0333-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 22, 2013

References

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