CALM: Clarification on the subject of testosterone-reducing drugs in relation to men committing suicide

Two days ago we published a piece in relation to the written submission by CALM to the Department of Health inquiry on suicide, which appeared to be calling for testosterone-reducing drugs to be used to reduce the suicide rate of men. The text in question was in the second paragraph, reproduced here:

Despite the evidence that the risk of suicide is disproportionate to men as a whole when compared to women, research is often gender neutral or narrowed beyond gender (e.g. by sexual orientation or age). As a result, there is no specific research carried out on men and societal and environmental factors. Broader, gender specific research could reveal hidden causes of suicide that have not yet been explored.

For instance, there could be great benefit in researching the impact of testosterone reducing drugs on the rates of suicide in men, [my emphasis] however the current lens of research funding and its gender neutral approach does not provide a platform for such research.

Yesterday I emailed Jane Powell, the CEO of CALM, on the issue. She responded this morning, stating:

Hi Mike,

Our concern is that some of the drugs which reduce testosterone in men actually add to suicide, not reduce it!… For example, Finasteride works by bringing down the levels of testosterone, potentially permanently.

The start of the Wikipedia page on Finasteride:

Finasteride, sold under the brand names Proscar and Propecia among others, is a medication used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) and (male) pattern hair loss.

We are happy to accept Jane Powell’s explanation of the passage in her submission.

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About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Respect for posting this clarification.

  • Great work getting to the bottom of this.

  • William Gruff

    Thanks for that. I’m averse to drugs but have a ‘prostrate’* problem and have been prescribed drugs that I have not taken. I’m now more than ever inclined to trust my instincts than my ‘big pharma’ guided GP and put up with the inconvenience.

    * One of the fat and frumpy Labour females attempting to divert the parliamentary debate on IMD claimed to understand men’s concerns about ‘prostrate’ problems. I can’t remember the name of the brainless quota token but she was dressed in black. That’s how low we’ve fallen.

  • Hi Mike
    I thought I’d mention that she is correct – that a great many ‘male’ drugs, like finasteride / propecia – are not recommended for men if used for cosmetic reasons i.e. baldness Probably beyond the scope of J4MB, but worth mentioning. Clearly down to the doctor and patient if used for prostate problems. There is a whole generation of young men who took the drug for cosmetic reasons which of course was actually quite foolish. Kudos to both Jane and yourself for the clarity.