Title

Gender differences in nonfatal suicidal behavior in Pakistan: significance of sociocultural factors

Document Type

Article

Department

Psychiatry

Abstract

Suicidal behavior is an understudied subject in Pakistan. A variety of social, legal, and religious factors make reporting and data collection on suicide and nonfatal suicidal behavior difficult. To study the problem, a retrospective case-note analysis was carried out in which the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of 262 female and 185 male suicidal individuals admitted to a university hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, are compared. Three quarters of the suicidal persons were under the age of 30 years. Compared to men, women were younger and more often married. Both women and men tended to use self-poisoning with benzodiazepines, but more women used organophosphate insecticides. In Pakistani society, legal, social, and economic discrimination predisposes women to psychological distress and subsequent suicidal behavior. The study highlights the need for culture-specific research on suicidal behavior in Pakistan.

Publication

Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

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