Why Are We Ignoring the Epidemic of White Male Suicides?

Dear Healthy Men: You recently wrote about a CDC report that supposedly showed that males are more likely than females to commit suicide. Well, my 19-year-old niece recently killed herself and I just saw the new CDC report on youth suicides, which said that the suicide rate among females is growing faster than among males. Why are you pretending that suicide is a male problem when it affects everyone equally?

A: There’s no question that both men and women kill themselves. And every suicide is a tragedy. But to suggest that suicide is a problem that affects everyone equally—or, as some major media outlets have “reported,” that it affects females more than males—is dangerously inaccurate. The simple fact is that overall, for every female suicide there are 3.5 male suicides. In 2017, those numbers were 10,391 and 36,782, respectively.  Among young people (ages 10-24) the male-to-female suicide ratio is nearly 4:1. As I noted in the column you referenced, suicide is the 6th leading cause of death among American males. It’s not in the top 10 for females.

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Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, mrdad.com. You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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