Gender Characteristics in Methods of Chinese Rural Young Suicides

  • Xiaomei Xu
  • Jie ZhangEmail author
  • Qin Zhou
  • Long Sun
Original Article


Suicidal men and women tend to use different means for suicide, but there has been a lack of studies on how Chinese male and female suicides are distributed on the various lethal methods. We studied 392 suicides (214 males and 178 females) consecutively sampled from selected rural areas of China, with the psychological autopsy (PA) design. It was found that majority of the Chinese rural young suicides died of swallowing pesticides or other farming chemicals (73.5%), and there was not much difference between men and women in all the suicide means as expected. Contrary to the findings in the USA, firearm was not available to Chinese civilians and was not the number one suicide means for the Chinese male suicides. In rural China, suicides with less violent methods outweighed those with violent methods in numbers, with more females that chose less violent suicide methods than males. However, results of logistic regression showed that there was no significant association between gender and suicide methods in rural China. Mental disorders and impulsivity were also not associated with violent or less violent suicide methods. Our findings indicated that access to suicide means might be most important explanation of suicide methods. These findings may have certain implications on suicide prevention, and researchers and policy makers should take into consideration the contexts of the people at risks of suicide.


Gender Suicide Means of suicide China Pesticides 


Funding Information

The research was supported by the United States National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): R01 MH068560.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shandong University School of Public Health Center for Suicide Prevention ResearchJinanChina
  2. 2.Department of SociologyState University of New York College at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.School of Public AdministrationUniversity of International Business and EconomicsBeijingChina

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