The male:female suicide rate differential in the UK almost doubled between 1982 – 2012, from 1.69:1 to 3.3:1. The differential would be larger – possibly much larger – if the disproportionate number of men killing themselves through excessive alcohol consumption, risky behaviours etc. was included.
The fact that three times more women than men ‘attempt’ suicide has long been explained by suicide prevention charities as resulting from women’s greater expectation of support following ‘cries of help’ – e.g. swallowing a large number of paracetamol tablets, then calling 999 for an ambulance – than men would have. But is the 3:1 ‘attempted suicide attempt differential’ based on empirical evidence? At least in the US – and why would it be very different in the UK? – the answer would appear to be a resounding No.