The Gender and Chemistry of Suicide

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The Gender and Chemistry of Suicide Suicide is a perplexing aspect of human behavior. There are hundreds of possible causes for suicide, but one underlying reason usually prevails. When life seems unbearable and hopelessly dreary, the only apparent way out for some individuals is to end their own painful existence. To other mentally "stable" individuals, suicide can be a question that can never be answered. Suicide is final, and no one comes back to explain why the decision was made to end their own life. There are some facts known about suicide, as well as many theories pertaining to why this behavioral phenomenon occurs. Recent advances in technology and furthered research into the biological basis for suicidal depression have yielded some interesting results. Accordingly, as the chemistry of suicide comes to light, there seems to be a gender-related difference in the rate and, excuse the pun, execution of suicidal behavior. Men are more likely to carry out a suicide and women are more likely to attempt (Lips, 1999). This could be due to a number of factors, but one that stands out from the rest. Women, in general, choose passive methods such as drugs and poisons to attempt suicide. Men use more drastic measures, such as shooting or hanging. So one explanation for the difference between the sexes is that women choose less lethal methods for ending their life. Even women who choose firearms to attempt suicide will do so in a manner that is less deadly than a male. A male is more likely than a female to shoot himself in the head, and a female more likely to deliver a body shot (Lester, 1988). There are some characteristics that m... ... middle of paper ... ... from happiness, and can lead to the choice of death over life. Hopefully, we will fully understand why people are unhappy someday. As for the present, we can only do so much, which has been, and will be a saving grace for many before and many to come. Bibliography: Bagley, Christopher, and Richard Ramsay, Suicidal Behavior in Adolescents and Adults. Ed. Robin Lovelock. Brookfield, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Co.,1997. 5. Kalat, James W., Biological Psychology. Ed. Jim Brace-Thompson. Boston, Massachusetts: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., 1998. 420-424. Lester, David, Why Women Kill Themselves. Ed. David Lester. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1988. 7-9. Lips, Hilary M., A New Psychology of Women. Ed. Franklin Graham. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1999. 217.

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