Is ill-being gendered ? Suicide, being at risk for suicide, depression and alcoholism
Ill-being arises from the multiple interactions that occur in a singularly tense relation –that between an individual endowed with social characteristics and the values and norms imparted and circulated by society. The genders tend to express ill-being in different ways. Women are more likely to be depressed or at risk for suicide, whereas men are more likely to be alcohol-dependent or to commit suicide. Focusing on one of these means of expression only entails the risk of misinterpreting these social phenomena. While divergences between them show the singularities of the various forms that ill-being takes and reveal the differentiated effects they may have on specific populations, convergence works to solidify conclusions applicable to all individuals. On the basis of recent data that take into account the profound changes that have occurred in ways of living in a couple, gendered indicators may be used to develop a new view of women’s « overprotection » from ill-being – protection provided by both the couple and children – which traditionally has preserved women from suicide only.