Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sex imbalance gives Chinese men the blues

The skewed sex ratios in China contribute to depression, especially in unmarried men
by Michael Woodhead
The highly unbalanced sex ratios in parts of China are contributing to depression and suicidal tendencies in men, and women, but especially unmarried men, new research shows.
Dr Zhou Xudong and colleagues at the School of Public Health, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, looked at depression rates in  7435 men and women aged 19–40 in Zhejiang, Yunnan and Guizhou. Depression was measured using the Chinese version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
They found depression in 17.6% of men and 17% of women, and suicidal thoughts and wishes in 18% and 20% of women respectively. The main factors associated with depression and suicidal thinking in men were high local sex ratio, rural residence, low education and poor economic status. Very high local sex ratio was the strongest independent determinant of depression in men.
The researchers conclude that "proactive measures need to be taken to identify and treat vulnerable individuals."
Read more: Journal of Affective Disorders

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