Is Ill-Being Gendered ? Suicide, Risk for Suicide, Depression and Alcohol Dependence
Ill-being arises from the multiple interactions involved in a specific tension, between an individual with social characteristics and the values and norms promoted by the society that individual lives in. The way a person expresses ill-being tends to vary by gender : depression and suicidal behavior are more common among women, whereas suicide and alcohol dependence are more common among men. Focusing on a single way of expressing ill-being could therefore lead to misinterpretation of results. While divergences among ways of expressing ill-being expose the specificities of those ways and their differentiated effects for particular groups, convergences make it possible to arrive at conclusions that can be generalized to all individuals. Gender-specific indicators have been developed on the basis of recent data that capture major changes in the form of the couple and household types. These indicators can be used to examine whether and to what degree women are “protected” against ill-being by having an intimate partner and children. These elements are usually determined on the basis of suicide studies alone. Men are more likely to commit suicide than women.