Suicide and the Causes

1 January 2017

Deanna Shepherd Intro to Sociology Research paper 11/18/2011 Suicide Suicide. We see it on the news almost every day. People from the age of 10 yrs. old to 80yrs old are committing suicide left and right due to personal issues. Suicide is in fact one of the leading causes of death of Americans and other people worldwide. Suicide is something that is not new to society. When a person turns to suicide it is not necessarily showing a sign of weakness. People see it as their way out to escape from reality. Of course, we all do not commit suicide.

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We all certainly do not even think suicide should be an option. Some people find safer, more constructive ways to deal with stress or whatever they may be struggling with. Others are not so lucky. As we look more into the topic of suicide, the question we always ask ourselves is: What factors could possibly influence a person to end their own life? What is Suicide? Suicide is the act of taking one’s own life whether it is voluntarily or intentionally. According to The Centers for Disease Control, it has shown that each year, more than 34,000 suicides occur in the United States.

For Americans, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death. It resulted in 34,598 lives lost in 2007. The top 3 methods used in suicides included firearm (50%), suffocation (24%), and poisoning (18%). (cdc. gov). Many people try to figure out what is the underlining cause of suicide. According to Steven Gerardi, author of, A brief survey of the sociological imagination, his general conclusion of the underlining cause of suicide varies inversely with the degree of integration of the social groups of which the individual forms a part.

He also states that suicide varies inversely with the degree of integration of religious society, domestic society, and political society. (Gerardi, pg. 13). As we go further in the studies of suicide, we raise the question as to why do people commit suicide based on these factors and who are the people who commit suicide. Using class notes, the top causes and factors of suicide are/ but not limited to: * Age * Sex/Gender * Residence/Location * Employment * Marital status(domestic society) * Education * Religion(religious society)

Men are more likely to commit suicide than women. According to Richard T. Schaefer, author of Sociology: a brief introduction, “protestants had much higher suicide rates than Catholics; the unmarried had much higher rates than married people; and soldiers were more likely to take their lives than civilians”. “Durkheim concluded that the suicide rates of a society reflected the extent to which people were or were not integrated into the group life of the society”. (Schaefer, pgs. 9-10) . The cause of suicide can vary tremendously.

I believe the main cause of suicide is the effects of society. We all have our own personal problems and stressful life events that we go through. A stressful life event may range from a break up between a boyfriend and girlfriend/ divorce of husband and wife, a death or loss of a significant loved one, or society not excepting people sexual orientation (gay, lesbians, transgender). All of these factors can take a toll on a person’s emotions. Whatever the problem may be, we must ask ourselves: “if suicide is a choice for us, would it be worth ending my life because of this problem? People who commit suicide probably figure that whatever the stressful life event they may be experiencing is not worth living through. The people who commit suicide failed to realize that suicide is a permanent solution to what could be a temporary problem. Reference Page http://www. cdc. gov/Features/PreventingSuicide/ Gerardi, Steven. A Brief Survey of the Sociological Imagination. 2nd. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2007. Schaefer, Richard. Sociology: A brief introduction. 8th. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.

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