Masculinity and men’s suicide attempts in Bangladesh

Anisur Rahman Khan*, Isaac Dery, Rebecca Helman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Drawing on Raewyn Connell’s theoretical notion of hegemonic masculinity, this study examines relations between masculinity and suicide attempts in Bangladesh. In-depth interviews were conducted with 17 men from the Jhenaidah district, who had previously attempted suicide. Participants discussed how “real men” were expected to be primary providers, demonstrate their material power and sexual prowess. However, the men disclosed that they encountered difficulties in achieving these versions of hegemonic masculinity in their real lives. Within this context, suicide attempts operated as a redemptive means to overcome perceived masculine “crises.” These findings demonstrate that suicide is a socially and culturally constituted phenomenon, which should be understood beyond an individualized and mental health framework. Suicide intervention strategies in Bangladesh must include critical analyses of masculinities, as well as measures to change rigid processes of gendered socialization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-385
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number4
Early online date13 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Bangladesh
  • crisis
  • hegemonic masculinity
  • men
  • suicide attempt


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