AKRON, Ohio, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Firearms are the preferred method of suicide for both men and women, though women are less likely to shoot themselves in the head, U.S. researchers found.
Valerie Callanan of the University of Akron and Mark Davis of the Criminal Justice Research Center at the Ohio State University said men and women differ in their suicide methods when it comes to disfiguring the face or head.
The researchers examined the medical examiner's files of 621 suicide cases in Summit County, Ohio, where Akron is located, from 1997 to 2006. They found women were significantly less likely than men to use suicide methods with the potential to disfigure the face or head.
The study, published in the journal Sex Roles, found men were nearly twice as likely as women to disfigure the face or head via suicide.
The study also found for every one-unit increase in blood-alcohol level, the odds of using a disfiguring method increased by nearly 10 percent.
"To suggest that women are less likely to shoot themselves in the face or head because they are more concerned about their appearance than men is to minimize the significance of the act of suicide," Callanan and Davis said in a statement.
"What we do know is that those experiencing stressful life events are at far greater risk of employing an especially lethal method of suicide than those not experiencing such events."