Women in Combat Have Three Times Suicide Rate

USA Today notes preliminary data from the US Army indicates “the suicide rate for female soldiers triples when they go to war.”

The findings…show that the suicide rate rises from five per 100,000 to 15 per 100,000 among female soldiers at war. Scientists are not sure why but say they will look into whether women feel isolated in a male-dominated war zone or suffer greater anxieties about leaving behind children and other loved ones.

Some might earlier have called that last statement sexist, particularly in light of recent recommendations that women be allowed in combat so they can improve “their career opportunities.”  (The issue was raised again recently in The Washington Times.)  The article notes the suicide rate for females is still lower than that for men in the Army; the Army continues to fight the trend of suicide in the ranks.

Interestingly, one of the key findings is that marriage makes suicide far less likely:

“One of the big things we’re interested in now is digging into this marriage thing and saying, ‘What is it you get, by being married? And how could we put it in a bottle so we can give it to everybody, whether or not they’re married?” says Ronald Kessler, a psychiatric epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School who is working on the project.

On a related topic, however, divorce rates among females are also reportedly almost twice as high as that of their male counterparts.


  • Granted this author only spoke with around 20 women, but rape from fellow soldiers may contribute to that suicide rate.

  • There may also be an issue with ‘Desert Queen.’ It’s the other side of the sexual issue: “Now that I’m one of a few choices, all the men want me.” If that goes to the woman’s head, then bad things happen. Often promiscuity, sometimes rape – regardless, never good.

    I don’t think you can put the benefits of marriage in a bottle. The benefits come from someone else committing to you. You don’t find that everyday and even when you do find it, both have to work on it.

  • So, when gays openly serve, people who vote against gay marriage will be putting American soldiers at risk!

  • Good point Dealer. Going from a hot commodity back to normal could be a blow to a woman’s self esteem.