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Article Date: 14 Aug 2010 – 0:00 PDT

Women and girls in the United States consider and engage in suicidal behavior more often than men and boys, but die of suicide at lower rate – a gender paradox enabled by U.S. cultural norms of gender and suicidal behavior, according to a psychologist who spoke at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

“Everywhere, suicidal behavior is culturally scripted,” said Silvia S. Canetto, PhD, of Colorado State University. “Women and men adopt the self-destructive behaviors that are expected of them within their cultures.”

While the gender paradox of suicidal behavior is common, particularly in industrialized countries, it is not universal, she said. In China, for example, women die of suicide at higher rates than men. In Finland and Ireland, men and women engage in nonfatal suicidal behavior at similar rates. There are more exceptions to the gender paradox of suicidal behavior when one examines female/male patterns of suicidality by age or culture, she said.

In some cultures, particularly in industrialized countries, such as the United States and Canada, suicide is considered a masculine act and an “unnatural” behavior for women, Canetto said at a symposium entitled “New Perspectives on Suicide Theory, Research and Prevention.”

Read in Full:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/197683.php



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