Chapter

Sex Differences in Suicide Rates

Fred C. Pampel

in The Institutional Context of Population Change

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780226645254
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226645278 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226645278.003.0010
Sex Differences in Suicide Rates

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The study of sex differences in suicide mortality raises issues and tests arguments that the separate study of male and female suicide rates neglect. Measures of female suicide rates relative to male rates tap different processes than measures of absolute rates of male and female suicide, and need not relate to social conditions in the same way as measures of absolute rates. In examining the gap between female and male suicide, then, this chapter addresses a new set of theoretical issues relating to changes in the status of women and the national institutions that promote or obstruct those changes rather than to changes in cohort size. It tests a hypothesis of institutional adjustment that posits an increase and then a decrease in relative female suicide mortality, similar curvilinear relationships for dimensions of women's status related to work involvement and family ties, and variation across ages and nations in the curvilinear relationships of time, female work, and family ties to relative female suicide rates.

Keywords: gender differences; suicide; mortality rates; age; nation; female work; family ties; time periods

Chapter.  6498 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Population and Demography

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