“The role that gender plays as a risk factor for suicide has been studied extensively. While females tend to show higher rates of reported nonfatal suicidal behavior, males have a much higher rate of completed suicide. A 2008 study of suicide attempts by gender found that females have a higher rate of suicide than males earlier in life, which decreases with age. For males the rate of attempted suicide remains fairly constant when controlled for age. Males and females also tend to differ in their methods of suicide and responses to suicidal feelings.
The incidence of completed suicide is vastly higher among males than females among all age groups in most of the world.
In the United States, the male to female suicide death ratio varies between 3:1 to 10:1 Typically males die from suicide three to four times more often as females, and not unusually five or more times as often. Females report attempting suicide at a higher rate than males in the United States. When accounting for parasuicide, the rate between males and females shifts to 1:2. This is likely due to several factors, including a higher risk for depression among females in the United States. Use of mental health resources may be a significant contributor to gendered suicide rates in the US. Studies have shown that females are 13-21% more likely than males to receive a psychiatric affective diagnosis. While 72-89% of females will have contact with a mental health professional at some point in their life, only 41-58% of males will make use of this resource. Within the US there are variances in gendered rates of suicide by ethnic group. A 2008 study showed that the rate of suicide death is highest among American Indian and Alaskan Native males, and lowest among African American females. Rates of attempted suicide are highest among American Indian and Alaskan Native females and lowest among African American and White males. This reflects the general trend expected by the gender paradox. Explanations for why rates of attempted and completed suicide vary by ethnicity are often based on cultural differences. Among African American victims, it has been suggested that females usually have better access to communal and familial relations that may mitigate other risk factors for suicide. Among Hispanic populations the same study showed that cultural values of marianismo, which emphasizes female docility and deference to males, may help to the higher rate of suicide among Latinas relative to Latinos. The authors of this study did not extrapolate their conclusions on ethnicity to populations outside the United States
The gender-suicide gap is generally highest in Western countries. Among the nations of Europe, the gender gap is particularly large in Eastern European countries such as Lithuania, Belarus, and Hungary. Some researchers attribute the higher rates in former Soviet countries to be a remnant of recent political instability. An increased focus on family under Soviet control led to females becoming more highly valued. Rapid economic fluctuations prevented males from providing fully for their families, which prevented them from fulfilling their traditional gender role. Combined, these factors could account for the gender gap. Other research indicates that higher instances of alcoholism among males in these nations may be to blame. Non-western nationsExcess male mortality from suicide is also evident from data from non-Western countries. In 1979-81, out of 74 countries with a non-zero suicide rate, two reported equal rates for the sexes (Seychelles and Kenya), three reported female rates exceeding male rates (Papua New Guinea, Macau, and French Guiana), while the remaining 69 countries had male suicide rates greater than female suicide rates. The contrast is even greater today, with WHO statistics showing China as the only country where the suicide rate of female matches or exceeds that of males. Barraclough found that the female rates of those aged 5–14 equaled or exceeded the male rates only in 14 countries, mainly in South America and Asia.
In most countries, most committed suicides are made by men, but in China women are 40% more likely to commit suicide. It has been found that suicide makes up for about 30% of deaths of women living in rural China. Traditional gender roles in China hold women responsible for keeping the family happy and intact. Suicide for women in China is shown in literature to be an acceptable way to avoid disgrace that may be brought to themselves or their families. One explanation for increased suicide in women in China is that pesticides are easily accessible and tend to be used in many suicide attempts made by women. Another explanation is that women are seen as subservient to men due to Chinese gender roles. Thirdly, difficult living conditions and strict views on marriage and family values cause women high stress which is a risk factor for suicidal behavior. The rate of nonlethal suicidal behavior is 40 to 60 percent higher in women as it is in men. This is due to the fact that more women are depressed than men, and also that depression is correlated with suicide attempts.”