An exploration of integrated data on the social dynamics of suicide among women

Sharon Mallon, Karen Galway, Lynette Hughes, Janeet Rondón-Sulbarán, Gerry Leavey

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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The gender based nature of suicide related behaviour is largely accepted.However, studies which report exclusively on female fatal suicides are rare.Here we demonstrate how female fatal suicide has effectively been ‘othered’ and appears ‘incidental’ in studies which compare female behaviour with that of their male counterparts. We highlight how recent studies of suicide have tended to be dominated by male only approaches,which increasingly link issues of masculinity with male death by suicide.Drawing on data collected from the GP and Coroner’s office, we then apply the Sociological Autopsy approach to a cohort of 78 deaths recorded as suicides in the UK between 2007 and 2009. By focusing on females in isolation from males, we demonstrate that as in male suicide only studies,it is similarly possible to draw out issues associated with the feminine identity which can be linked to death by suicide. We identify that bereavement, sexual violence and motherhood could all be linked to the lives and help-seeking of the females who died. In closing, we suggest are orientation towards sociological analytic approaches of female suicide may help to produce further reductions in the rate of female death by suicide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-675
JournalSociology of Health and Illness
Issue number4
Early online date08 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2016


  • suicide
  • gender
  • sociological autopsy


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