Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Suicide Rates for Female Veterans

In the general population men are far more likely to commit suicide than women. Among military veterans, women are almost as likely to commit suicide as men.

Does military service make women more suicidal or does it make them behave more like men?

The Los Angeles Times reports the alarming statistic:

New government research shows that female military veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women, a startling finding that experts say poses disturbing questions about the backgrounds and experiences of women who serve in the armed forces.

Their suicide rate is so high that it approaches that of male veterans, a finding that surprised researchers because men generally are far more likely than women to commit suicide.

"It's staggering," said Dr. Matthew Miller, an epidemiologist and suicide expert at Northeastern University who was not involved in the research. "We have to come to grips with why the rates are so obscenely high."

Why are women veterans committing suicide at such high rates?

No one knows.

The LA Times speculates:

It is not clear what is driving the rates. VA researchers and experts who reviewed the data for The Times said there were myriad possibilities, including whether the military had disproportionately drawn women at higher suicide risk and whether sexual assault and other traumatic experiences while serving played a role.

Psychosocially, women soldiers are not accepted as equals. They are not accepted as full members of the group and do not enjoy the same camaraderie:

Though the U.S. military has long provided camaraderie and a sense of purpose to men, it has been a harsher place for women. "They lack a sense of belonging," said Leisa Meyer, a historian at the College of William and Mary in Virginia and an expert on women in the military.

What does it all mean?

It might mean that women soldiers have not undergone the same basic training as men. It might mean that the women who join the military believe that gender is just a social construct. It might suggest that women soldiers do not earn their stripes by performing as well as men. It might mean that men consider the presence of women a hindrance, imposed by politically correct politicians. 

It looks as though yet another grand social experiment that is failing. It suggests that the notion of a gender neutral military, the notion that gender is merely a social construct is absurd.

One understands that the proponents of political correctness will use this news to launch yet another assault on men in the military. They will insist that we can only solve the problem by putting women into more combat roles. Heck, the New York Times editorial board will probably tell us again that we need to open the military to the transgendered.

The real question is: how many women’s lives are we willing to sacrifice to a bad idea?


Sam L. said...

"It looks as though yet another grand social experiment that is failing. It suggests that the notion of a gender neutral military, the notion that gender is merely a social construct is absurd."

I suspect that to the average person, this is to be expected. Grand social experiments are dreamed up by those convinced they know better than the average person.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The suicides are more collateral damage. The show must go on until meaningless distinctions like gender and sexual orientation disappear!

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Also, since when do we care about suicide rates?

We want women in the military. As we see here, female suicide rates go up. We want women in combat. Do we think the suicide rates will be lower? Doubtful, which is why the liberal prescription will be for more women in the military, which will lead to more women in combat, which will lead to more suicides. The prescription for the failure of liberal ideas is always MORE, not less. So more daughters killed.

Again, collateral damage. Your daughter, sister, niece is a pawn in a ruthless game of social engineering. As I said in another comment here, a hallmark of C.S. Lewis' and Madeleine L'Engle's depiction of evil is a mind separated from the body. The mind has determined that women and men are the same, though their bodies say otherwise. Oh well. That's just nature. We can change that, right? This from the same people who say we should leave nature in its pristine form everywhere.

Indeed, if we actually cared about elevated suicide rates we wouldn't celebrate "Caitlyn" Jenner and gender reassignment surgery, because the suicide rate for people after the procedure isn't just elevated, it's alarmingly high. But we don't care about life and happiness, we care about ideology and pleasure. The mind separated from the body. To achieve grotesque ends.

ObamaCare covers gender reassignment surgery, just as the Obamatrons favor allowing women in combat roles. That's what our political and activist class stands for. Who cares what happens to the people? We must tolerate every lifestyle choice on the planet. If you don't, you're a bigot. Got it? B-I-G-O-T. Yes, you!

Again, we have tolerance as a substitute for love. What do we get for all this tolerance? Less love. "Live and let live," the libertarians, liberals and Lefties say. We'll, it sounds like fewer human beings are living as a consequence of these ideas, these new-found rights like women in combat roles or transgender surgical mutilation. But that's okay, because we're tolerating people's odd ways, so long as they commit suicide in peace, away from the camera, so we don't have to see it, and then a first responder cleans up the mess... someone else's job, not the theoretician's. Statistics, hypotheses and theories are so much more sanitary, and we get to look so good while tolerating all this nonsense. Wow. What a great society we live in.

If men and women are the same, why do men commit suicide more than women? And if it's alarming that military women are committing suicide at male rates, why are we just focusing on the women? What about the men?

So, "How many women are we willing to sacrifice for a bad idea?"

Apparently, a lot. And if women in combat is truly a threat to unit cohesion and men taking greater risks to prevent a female soldier from being captured, how many men are we willing to sacrifice for this horrible idea?

Elevated suicide rates are speed bumps along our path to progress. This is progress, that's why Lefties call themselves Progressives. They love progress. And they don't care about any of the lives lost along the way. Those are "sacrifices" for progress. Other people's sacrifices.

Ares Olympus said...

re: What does it all mean?

The blame game gets so tiresome. We really are not required to speculate, but the LAT argument about abused women makes more sense than blaming feminism.

What I remember is women may attempt suicide as much as men, but don't tend to pick as lethal means. So maybe military training helps "empower" women to be more effective, just like men?

Perhaps someone does need to do a study on the the idealistic "conscience of women" and see if they are more "harmed" by having to harm others? All that empathy stuff, right?

Women can be sociopaths just like men, but maybe they just don't enjoy it as much when their feelings reconnect and they see what they've done?

So we're agreed, what sort of good woman would want to inflict such trauma upon herself by impossible situations when she can let her husband do it, and then take care of him and his PTSD?

Perhaps we should compare to other progressive countries like Israel?

Dennis said...

I am not sure why this surprises anyone. When women take on the stresses and strains that men have traditionally had then women suffer those same problems. More heart disease, more suicides, et al.
It also does not help that women almost always want to change a the group dynamic in any functioning organization to fit their needs vice the needs of the organization. We get lowering of standards, people beginning to do things that do not lead to esprit de corps and a highly functioning combat unit. It sows an underlying tension that affects both males and females. What drives people to action in militaries is the desire to protect those in their units and the cohesion that is developed by shared sacrifices.
Women, in most of the cases cited, do not feel like they belong and this I believe is because in most cases women do not even try to belong. A military cannot have people who believe they deserve special treatment.
Men will insult each other and kid around developing the skills to withstand critisim and the ability to stand on one's own two feet. It is a rite of passage that develops trust. A woman who understands this will fit in, but few have that ability because from birth they are given the idea that they are something special and we should care what women want at the expense of men's lives. One notes this in the fact that the number of male suicides seem not to matter to the LATimes and the people who did the study. With this kind of disrespect for the lives of men how can anyone take them seriously.
it is my hope that one day you might actually think through what you write. There is a sense of superiority that just oozes from your comments with no appreciable reason or experience to back it up. One day you might even recognize how much you don't know. We are never as smart as we think we are nor as dumb as others believe we are. A little more "IF" "THEN" might lead to better extrapolation skills.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks, Dennis.