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Prevention of suicidal behaviour in females: Opportunities and obstacles 

Prevention of suicidal behaviour in females: Opportunities and obstacles
Prevention of suicidal behaviour in females: Opportunities and obstacles

Silvia Sara Canetto

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date: 23 May 2022

Females have higher rates of suicidal ideation and behaviour, and lower rates of suicide mortality than males. This is a dominant, but not a universal pattern, both across and within countries. One of few national exceptions is China, a country where both non-fatal and fatal suicidal behaviours are most common in women. There is also cultural heterogeneity in meanings of, and attitudes about female suicidal behaviour. In some cultures, suicide is viewed more negatively in women, while in other cultures in men. This cultural diversity in gender patterns and meanings of suicidal behaviour challenges essentialist perspectives on female suicidal behaviour, and calls for culture and gender-grounded theory, research and prevention. The perception, dominant in industrialized countries, that suicide is a male behaviour is a challenge, but can also be an opportunity in prevention in that it may discourage female suicide. Evidence indicates that critical to the prevention of female suicidal behaviour is attention to social, economic and political factors, including structures of social inequality.

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