Women attempt suicide more than men, but men are more likely to succeed. The primary reason for this is the difference in the methods used. Men tend to use typically masculine methods of committing suicide, such as hanging or guns, while women tend to use typically feminine methods of committing suicide, such as poisoning or slitting wrists.
The most obvious explanation for this discrepency is that men have more access to guns. However, in countries such as England in which no one has access to guns, the discrepency between male and female suicide rates still exists; men merely switch to a different very fatal method (hanging).
Some people theorize that women are more likely to have attention-seeking suicides. I find this explanation unsatisfying for two reasons. First, I haven’t heard an explanation of why women are more likely to have attention-seeking suicides, which creates the same problem, except back a level. If anything, you’d think the lack of social support for men with depression would make them more likely to attempt suicide as a last resort to get someone to pay attention. Second, in my personal experience with suicide, even when I firmly intended to kill myself I still automatically thought of wrist-slitting and to a lesser degree poisoning as “how you do it”, whereas my suicidal male friends tended towards hanging or guns as a method.
So I have to admit defeat and open it up to the commentariat. Why do men commit suicide more than women? What accounts for the difference in methods? Do women tend to have more attention-seeking suicides and, if so, why?