Saturday, March 28, 2015

Why do White Men commit suicide so frequently?



It looks like the Germanwings crash was caused by a suicidal pilot. And, no, there is no evidence that this was politically motivated. It seems that Andreas Lubitz was depressed. His girlfriend had recently dumped him and he had health issues that threatened his job of flying.

What is interesting is that White men are much more likely to commit suicide than other races (except for American Indians). On the surface this sounds strange. After all, we are always told that White men have life on "easy mode" with invisible privileges. Logically, it would seem that the lesser privileged people should be more prone to suicide.

My guess is that evolutionary differences  are to blame. White people tend to be better able at imagining the future and developing abstract ideas than other races. Various tests have shown Whites, in general, have a longer time preference.  And while such a trait is good in developing an advanced civilization, it can cause people to be depressed over future imagined scenarios. People that "live in the moment" tend to be happier. Of course, the trade off is a lack of planning and imagination that leads to a lower standard of living.

An example of such angst is Global Warming. Putting aside the debate of if Global Warming is true, one must acknowledge that fretting about the environment is a "White persons" thing. White people have the unique ability to get themselves all worked up about something that may, or may not, happen hundreds of years in the future.

http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/statistics/rates02.html


6 comments:

  1. Good points.

    What about East Asians though? Aren't they into planning ahead too? Of course there may well be other traits that influence the outcome.

    Invictus

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  2. I think the Japanese have a much higher suicide rate than man of any race in the USA.

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  3. Suicide would have been understandable. Murdering 149 other people is not.

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  4. @ Hell_Is_Like_Newark

    Of course Seppuku or Hara-kiri had an honoured place in traditional Japanese culture.

    Invictus

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  5. @ Tim H

    Yes; I could sympathise with suicide, but not mass murder.

    Invictus

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  6. Yeah, that's why he killed himself, along with 149 other people. An ability to plan for the future. A longer time preference.

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