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Married Indian men twice as likely to commit suicide than married women: Report


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NEW DELHI: Married men are twice as likely to commit suicide than married women. However, after divorce or in the case of the spouse's death, men's propensity to commit suicide falls sharply.

According to latest data by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), close to 60,000 married men committed suicide in 2014 as compared to 27,000 married women. However, 1,400 widowers ended their lives compared to 1,300 widows. Similarly, around 550 divorced men committed suicide as compared to 410 divorced women. 

The data show, overall 66% of all suicides were committed by married people. Only 21% of those who committed suicide were unmarried, while widows/widowers and divorced people made up for less than 3% of all suicides. 

The data throw no light on why such a trend exists. However, analysis of other data on suicides give some explanation. 

First, in overall suicides too men score twice as much as women. Close to 90,000 men committed suicide for various reasons in 2014 as against about 42,000 women. According to 2011 census, widowed and divorced women far outnumber men with similar status. There are 3.5 times widowed women than men and more than double divorced women than men. 

Among reasons for suicides, family problems score the highest. They claim lives of over 21% of all suicide victims. It is also the biggest killer of men claiming over 18,000 lives in 2014. Family issues cost over 9,900 women their lives. Illness as a reason follows closely leading to 18% of all suicides. Here too, no of men (16,078) is twice that of women (7,663). 



Age-wise analysis of suicides also compares with data on suicides of married men and women. Till the age of 18, data show men and women are equally prone to suicide. For about 5,500 men who committed suicide in 2014 in this age group, there were 5,300 female victims. 

The gap begins to increase after 18 years, also the age after which people chose to marry. In 18-30 year age group, 60% of victims were men. In 30-45 years age group, about 72% victims were men, while in 45-60 years age group, men accounted for almost 80% of the victims. 

While there have been global studies on men being more susceptible to suicide than women, there isn't much research on trends related to marital status. Psychologists have pointed out that men are given to impulsive decisions. Given that alcohol abuse is more rampant among men than women, this tendency only gets aggravated.



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