Year: 2000 Source: Death Studies, v.24, no.8, (December 2000), p.705-719 SIEC No: 20010259

The hypothesis that American male suicide rates are higher than rates of women because men use more lethal means was tested by adjusting male rates so that the distribution of male & female suicides to highly lethal methods was equal. The adjusted male rate was still higher than the total female rate in all eight periods of the study. Increases in the percentage of female suicides using firearms over this period were unrelated to increases in female rates, & similar increases in firearms use by males were positively related to increases in male suicide rates only in recent decades. The impact of change in the male firearms suicide rate on change in their total suicide rate was weak or nonexistent in 3 of 7 change periods; its impact on the female total rate was trivial in 5 of the 7 change periods. (34 refs.)