Gender and Suicide in India. A Multi-Perspective Approach


Michel Tousignant, S Seshadri, A Raj.


The gap between male and female suicide rates in India is relatively small. However, the views on the motives of suicide for each sex are quite different. In order to investigate the perceptions of male and female suicide, we interviewed a focus group of university professors as well as police inspectors, crime reporters and hospital nurses in Bangalore. We also obtained four narratives of suicide. Women tended to be blamed for their own or their husband's suicide though they were also viewed more often as victims of life adversities than men. An historical review illustrates that both men and women have been associated with culturally sanctionned suicides. One known form is sati and we discuss the recent case of satimurder of Roop Kanwar in 1987. The social sciences and the media also pay a lot of attention to the typical female suicides symbolizing their role as martyrs of society and this seems to compensate for attribution of blame. CULTURE SEXE INDE ÉPIDÉMIOLOGIE ATTITUDE BLÂME HISTOIRE

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