It’s not just anxiety, depression, and self-harm.
Teach a nation’s white children that they should hate themselves, their parents, their families and their nation and this is the result.
With their culture completely eroded to the point of being seen as a disease among their peers and bingo, you just created an extremely unstable situation. The ones that don’t turn “trans” so they can join the new culture of victimhood kill themselves. Then the ones that do turn trans, kill themselves once they realize they’ve destroyed their future as a human being.
Great job, liberal America, globalists, and other evil fucks across the globe.
What the data seems to show is fairly stable numbers for both genders up until the very early sixties, followed by a breakout and continued upward trend since. Less pronounced in girls but clearly shown, and accelerating for girls. I would argue that the issue isnt a play based vs phone based childhood, but a play/family based vs tech/isolated childhood. The beginning of the 1960's marked the rise of women entering the workforce, 2 income families, latchkey kids phenomenon, and the penetration of televisions into the average household. Its only gotten more isolating since. The smartphone is just another tool to isolate kids further from each other and from their families.
Excellent data collection, analyses, and presentation. In other words exemplary research. In particular the Suicide Rates by Age Groups and Generations graphs are very interesting and, as far as I know, original and significant contribution to suicide scholarship.
I'm fully convinced of After Babel's theory that smart phone usage is the largest direct cause of the increases in anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide over the past 12ish years. I'm sitting here brainstorming what I, a father of toddlers, can do between now and the beginning of their adolescence to ensure good mental health and strong relationships not just for my children but for their future friends and acquaintances.
I remember when I was about 13 and my older sister and I laughed about owning iPhones. She said, "It's kinda weird, right? We're like guinea pigs, who knows what this thing could do to us." It's not as funny now...
Hey Zach, the fact that suicides are going down for teenagers in the non-Anglosphere is a major challenge to the social media hypothesis. You acknowledge this, but put it to the side by speculating that the data is not broken down by sex and does not have a separate category for 10-14 year olds.
This is easy for me to say since I'm not doing all the painstaking research, but I would have waited to publish this until I had either (a) acquired the data on female 10-14 year olds outside the Anglosphere or (b) developed a more fleshed-out theory for why the rise in teen suicides is specific to the Anglosphere.
Great data on suicide rates.
Not so great tying to phones. I have gen Z (what I refer to as zoomer) kids. My girls got the first iPhone the day it came out.
Why do I mention that? I as a parent was very involved in how my kids were using the phone and the internet and social media. My kids largely used Facebook in their high school years to plan parties on the spur of the moment - ie engage in more face-to-face time. Why is that?
I speculate it’s because the community we lived in focused on being socially involved in high school and as a result how they engaged in college and later in life.
I viewed the phone as another tool for my kids, not some way of making it so they could be entertained without my involvement.
Maybe the tool is not the problem. Maybe it’s how parents thought about the tool. I suspect many parents liked the internet and it extending to phones because they had to spend less time entertaining their kids.
I tend to focus on parents as the reason zoomers are more anxious, depressed, and suicidal. Parents gave the kids internet and a phone without understanding the implications. Why did parents do that? Do they still largely do that today?
I'm bought in to there being a link between how children are raised in the world today v in the past. I'm bought in to social media and phones having a part to play in this. But I do think the reasons are nuanced and probably have a lot to do with the place the child grows up. I think this data actually highlights this. Although the principle behind the article is that all the countries show the same trends, on another view of the data I might argue all 5 countries are in fact showing different trends.
Older women in the US had some startling rises in suicide rates until they seem to have dropped off a cliff in 2020 - which rather skews the comparison to younger cohort rates.
In the UK, 15-19 female rates are between 2 and 3 per 100k pretty much all the way until 2017. And the volumes are really small, we're talking yearly deaths around 60 in 2019-21 v 35 in 2007-2009.
You guys don't discuss the clear recent decreasing trend in suicides in Canada for young women. Did Canadians ban smartphones at some point?
Australia's rise seems to be in line with older cohorts - all ages have increasing suicide rates.
New Zealand trends don't seem to fit the general increase you're trying to prove here.
I appreciate the rigour of this, bringing it all together, its great analysis. For me it just prompts more questions (which is good!). I don't think this is as simple as one clear cut cause.
Wonderful analysis and yet I fear we waste our attention looking for silver bullet causes. Todays young people are growing in poorer soil than recent generations. Adolescence is hard enough and todays kids are struggling to thrive in a world with fewer resources, greater crises (Maine last week anyone?) and more risks (both real and perceived) all while spending less time with friends. What kids need is not a mystery - stability, love and attention. Phone use is the symptom not the cause. Doritos alone do not cause obesity. Kids with vibrant lives and compelling activity choices have low(er) social media use.
Lots of good data on suicides. Thank you. The focus on girls is somewhat expected and pc. The reality is that boys and men are many times more likely to commit suicide and no one really knows why. Your assumption about lethal means is weak. I would love to see the data that makes you think that. So many times people, and even researchers, will look at the number of men who used hanging and/or guns to complete suicide and compare those numbers to the women's numbers and jump quickly to think that lethal means must be the underlying reason for such a huge difference. But they fail to take into account the fact that women suicide far less often and therefore comparing the absolute numbers is very misleading. You would need to multiply the number of female suicides by lethal means by the 3-4 in order to get a comparison. The stats on lethal means are not easy to come by but it seems clear that when you take this into account the lethal means theory is a part of the difference but nowhere near being the main cause for the dramatic difference in male and female rates of completed suicide.
I do appreciate your identifying the increase in girls suicides. However, we are in great need of bright folks who are willing to take a look at just why men and boys suicide so much more often. Perhaps when we get that we will be in better shape to limit the suicides of both males and females. For more information on men and suicide I did a short video looking at this problem that can be seen here: https://menaregood.substack.com/p/the-truth-about-male-suicide
This problem can be traced back to the 1970's when Dr. SPOCK published a manual on how to discipline children. Then in the years of 2000 the wonderful discovery of cell phones and internet that gave those young people a new way of communicating. Raised without responsibility and respect for fellow mankind they embarked on a non oral form of communicating. Now they can demean and slander anyone without facing them. This onslaught of verbal abuse has caused anxiety, depression, hatred, and a myriad of personal destruction of minds that are already confused of their place in life.
Suicides for girls or boys are tragic. However, once again a study puts females front and center over boys. Im not a scientist, the X axis (left side) for girls on your graphs is much smaller than boys. That gives the erroneous impression that girls are more at risk than girls.
"Regarding the first fact, the ratio of suicides among teenage boys to teenage girls stands at a staggering 3:1. Understanding this significant disparity is crucial for any discussion about suicide. Suicidologists have found that this gender gap in suicide is partly due to the fact that boys tend to use more lethal means than girls, and have higher suicidal intent. Regarding methods, boys tend to use guns or asphyxiation, while girls are more likely to use more reversible methods, such as overdosing on pills (Note that rates of asphyxiation among girls have been rising in recent years)."
Does anyone besides me see the folly in explaining higher attempted suicide rates among females with 'less lethal means' and 'less suicidal intent'? These researchers are quite literally saying that females are *more* likely to attempt suicide because they have *less* intent and are *less* likely to use a method which will reliably get the job done. Such a glaring logical inconsistency really ought to be easy to spot but it doesn't seem to be.
In my view, these rates ought not to be labeled as 'suicide' and 'attempted suicide', but as 'successful suicide attempts' and 'unsuccessful suicide attempts'. This makes things much clearer and shows that males are *BOTH* more likely to kill themselves *AND* to attempt to kill themselves.
Why is this significant? Because it more clearly shows that suicidality is a 'masculine' trait, on the whole. This leads to another theory which could explain why the suicide rate among younger females is rising (which it definitely appears to be) and that is that they are being masculinized through woke feminist influences in society. They are acting more and more like men and assuming more masculine roles in the socio-economic structure.
Biologist here. Holy mackerel this "study" is misleading. Especially the title. A classic case of starting with a premise and attempting to make the data bend to fit it. Which scientists are specifically trained to avoid.
You really went as far as the classic "How To Lie With Statistics" trick of putting 2 graphs next to each other that look identical but use different number scales, resulting in the increase among males appearing to be less next to the increase among females. Presumably to support your inaccurate "especially girls" point.
In a period where the suicides per 100,000 rose from 10 to 17 for US Gen Z males and 2 to 5 for US Gen Z females, you really are trying to argue that the numbers for the girls are more concerning.
If you are a scientist and/or statistician, you've been specifically trained to be wary of the percentages-of-small-numbers fallacy. So much for your training!
Please, please stop posting this biased crap. It is not sound science. And it's encouraging people to ignore the growing gap between male and female suicide rates.
Respect yourself, respect others.
Thanks, Jon and Zach -- I always appreciate your work here, and want to offer another hypothesis that specifically accounts for the gendered nature of these statistics.
This hypothesis relies on neurobiological nature of interpersonal social orientation, belonging, and social comparison, particularly for adolescent girls, as exacerbated and confused by the input of visual-heavy stimuli of modern social media. Our brains, I can presume, aren't meant to handle this much stimuli of "possible futures" at such a sensitive time in our neurological and social development.
Hans Georg Mueller has done excellent work on the demands of what he terms "Profilicity" .. how we maintain a profile (or profiles) on social media sites as part of our identity construction. I'm imagining that this pressure is greater for adolescent girls than it is for adolescent boys for neurological, biological, and social reasons shared across the Anglosphere.
I would be curious about looking at recent developments in neuroscience and the differences in brain development between girls and boys. The work of Louann Brizendine is a good start .... but, my hope hypothesis is this : in connecting (1) adolescent girls self-reported reasons for self-harm, (2) emerging science of gendered adolescent brain development and (3) theories of the demands of "profilicity" and identity in our modern age, we can get some clear guidance for parents, like me, who have daughters under the age of 10.
Not sure this makes any sense -- but offering in appreciation.
As a baby boomer, and an old one at that, I think there are many reasons why teen suicide is increasing. My parents both served in WW2, and as a result were damaged - today known as PTSD. My father was the bread winner and my mother stayed home. I carried this through into my home life, and once again I became the breadwinner and my wife stayed home to care for the children (Gen X).
My children grew up and carried something of the same lifestyle through to their home lives, in turn having children. However, in the mid 1990's following a recession in Australia and elsewhere, neo-liberalism saw the prices of housing skyrocket to the prices we see today. At the same time, IT moved away from PC's and local area networks and became more mobile, culminating in the technology we have today. I visited my children as their children (Gen X) grew, and noticed that the family no longer ate together, with each grabbing a meal at different times and immersing themselves in the technology of their choice. Both parents worked to make ends meet, and consequently, the children were left very much to their own devices, apart from weekends when sport consumed them.
I think it simplistic to draw conclusions based around the eroding of interpersonal relationships as a result of mobile phone use. Other factors are in play, as indicated above. Children are now transported to and from school, and have little opportunity to interact with their school friends apart from organised sport and arranged visits.
The advent of professional sports for females and the implied pressure to perform, places pressure on girls to not fulfil traditional female roles. This applies to jobs, to education and even to having children. Whilst this may seem a sexist comment, when taken in a historical context passed through generations, and implicitly understood, is it any wonder that vulnerable girls may not see the World as clearly as expected by others, and turn to social media for transitory affirmation.
Shoshana Zuboff identified this area of concern as it related to adolescent children as described in her book "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism". As she points out, "It is no surprise that capitalism shapes social relations. A century ago it was the new means of mass production that fashioned mass society in its image."
Zuboff quoted from and international study of 1000 participants in a study of media use that spanned ten countries and five continents. They were asked to abstain from media use for 24 hours, and consequently suffered real withdrawal effects, The sudden dislocation "produced the kinds of cravings, depression,, and anxiety that are characteristic of clinically diagnosed addictions."
What society is facing, particularly our youngest members, is effectively behaviour modification in the pursuit of profit by capitalism. As Zuboff writes, "The young people....live on a frontier of a new form of power that declares the end of a human future, with its antique allegiances to individuals, democracy, and the human agency necessary for moral judgement. Should we awaken from distraction, resignation and psychic numbing,....it is a future that we may still avert."
Those girls and boys who have sacrificed themselves on the altar of surveillance capitalism, have been unable to find a safe place to be themselves. Erving Goffman, "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" characterised this as acting, whereby there needs to be a "backstage" for private reflection. That is what is lacking for young people today, they need a backstage; it is something that is not taught in our schools, and they have no defence against the depredations of surveillance capitalism.