PJ Media

Boys and Suicide

Did you know that 86% of all adolescent suicides in the U.S.are comitted by boys? And the real problem? Nobody gives a damn. A reporter at a href=”http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/01/26/BAGHRGT0DV1.DTL”The emSan Franciso Chronicle /em/ais puzzled by this apathy as well:br /br / blockquoteIt occurred to me that if 86 percent of adolescent suicides were girls, there would be a national commission to find out why. There’d be front-page stories and Oprah shows and nonprofit foundations throwing money at sociologists and psychologists to study female self-destruction. My feminist sisters and I would be asking, rightly, “What’s wrong with a culture that drives girls, much more than boys, to take their own lives?” br /br /So why aren’t we asking what’s wrong with a culture that drives boys, much more than girls, to take their own lives? Even in academia, where you can find studies on the most obscure topics, there is little research explaining why boys are disproportionately killing themselves. The Center for Adolescence at Stanford, a nationally recognized clearinghouse on teen behavior, has no one on its long roster of experts who can speak on the topic. Neither does the American Association of Suicidology, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention since 1968. /blockquotebr /br /Unfortunately, the solution for this reporter to boy’s suicide is to treat them more like girls or to tie their seeking help to what they can do for women:br /br /blockquoteIf fathers say openly and repeatedly that acknowledging depression and sadness is not a sign of personal weakness but of superior judgment, if they say that getting help is their obligation as men so they can be good partners and providers, then maybe we have a chance at changing the centuries of hard-wiring that makes boys and men so much more violent than women — whether toward others or toward themselves. /blockquotebr /br /I am not exactly sure of all the complex psychological reasons that boys are taking their lives more now than in the past, but I do know that without studying the reasons for the increase, we will not be on our way to finding a solution.br /br /Update: a href=”http://jwwells.blogspot.com/2006/01/male-suicide.html”JW Wells has similar thoughts /aon males and suicide.br /br /Update II: If suicide is emjust/em about men’s natural predisposition of violence towards others or themselves, as some commenters and emailers stated, why do more a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2526079.stm”women than men kill themselves /ain China?