Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Rope or hanging is the means most commonly resorted to, drowning next, then firearms and then stabbing."

Curious Facts on Self-Destruction

   Professor Marselli, the eminent Italian authority on suicide, gives, in a lately revised edition of his work on that subject, some curious facts. He says that suicides are increasing in frequency in all parts of Europe where statistics have been taken. The only exceptions to this rule, as applied to quinquennial periods, are Norway in 1851-53, and Denmark 1866-80. Since 1865 more suicides have been committed in the Kingdom of Saxony, in proportion to population, than in any other country, the proportion during the decade 1866-75 being 298 per 1,000,000 inhabitants yearly. Italy and the Slavs of the south show the lowest proportion of suicides, with 35 and 20 respectively per million. In England, during the last forty years, the ratio has been ranging from 63 to 66 per million of population. He says what will surprise many people that suicides are more frequent in higher latitudes, the maximum occurring at 50 north latitude. They are also more frequent in the lowlands and in the region of great rivers. June is the favorite month, and December that in which there are the fewest suicides. In France they are most frequent during the first ten days of each month. Although the Professor does not say so, that peculiar fact may possibly be attributed to unrelenting landlords who insist on their rent. Among the days of the week, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday appear to be the favorite days for self-murder among men, while women prefer Sunday. The months of May, June and July show the largest number of suicides.

   While Slavism, he says, tends to lower the average of suicides Germanism elevates it. Among religious denominations he gives the relative proportions as follows: In Protestant countries 190, in Catholic countries 58, and in Greek countries 40 per million respectively. In Italy the married men and the unmarried women commit suicide the least frequently, the widows and the widowers the oftenest. In all countries the proportion of suicides is three and a fraction of men to one of women. From the age of fifty to sixty-five the tendency to self-destruction is the strongest. Rope or hanging is the means most commonly resorted to, drowning next, then firearms and then stabbing.

[The Daily Astorian, Astoria, Oregon, Saturday Morning, February 11, 1882. Vol. XVI. No. 112. Pg. 1]

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