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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1986 Spring;16(1):16-27.

Sex difference trends in completed suicide.


The recent suicide literature increasingly has contained statements suggesting that the differences in completed suicide between the sexes are lessening. A compilation of official suicide data for 1933-1980 verifies such a trend from the 1950s through 1971. However, increased differences (as measured by the ratio of male to female rates) were consistently observed from 1971 to 1980. These trends were found for data for the nation, for whites and nonwhites, for numbers of suicides, for crude rates, and for age-adjusted rates. Decreased sex differences were obtained for those 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and for 65+ years of age, but increased sex differences were observed for those aged 15-24 and 25-34. Possible explanations for these findings are presented.

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