Sex Ratio Correlates with Both Male and Female Suicide Rates Across US Counties

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kristin Snopkowski


Sex ratio has been linked to a variety of behaviors, such as mating effort, marriage stability, violence, and health outcomes, such as sexually transmitted disease rates and depression. In this research, we examine the association of sex ratio and suicide rates across counties in the US. Given previous research, we predicted that when sex ratios are more male-biased, we would see higher male suicide rates. We also expected that when sex ratios were more female biased, we would see higher female suicide rates. Using data from 2008-2014 from the CDC, we found that in counties with male biased sex ratios, both male and female suicide rates are higher. This result remains even after controlling for county-level unemployment rate. While previous research has shown that a lack of marriage opportunities for men may increase male depression rates, possibly leading to higher suicide risk for men, less is known about why female suicide rates may be associated with male-biased sex ratios. Future research is needed to understand this association.

This document is currently not available here.