Based on the findings of a recent study, it appears that young female soldiers are more vulnerable than male soldiers, a new study has revealed after psychologists have observed the behavior of a large group of dispatched soldiers. The experiment has led researchers to conclude that female fighters tend to commit suicide during the war years, whereas male soldiers are much more capable to cope with their negative emotions.
Women have, with good reason, gained the right to work side by side with men; however, a recent research suggests there could be certain jobs where they don’t find themselves at ease, such as, jobs on the war front. Professor Robert J. Ursano from the University of Health Sciences in Maryland has conducted a recent study to explain the increased suicidal tendencies among dispatched U.S. soldiers.
He has collaborated with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army to collect data for the current research. The study was carried out from 2004 and 2009 by comparing data from the Afghanistan and the Iraq wars. During this period of time, scientists have carefully analyzed the behavior of 9791 suicidal attempters and their medical checkups they have been subjected to during their service in the army.
The study group comprised 183 826 individuals of different ages, socioeconomic classes and ethnicities. Their position in the U.S. Army has also been taken into consideration; therefore, they were divided into a group of 163 178 soldiers and 30 439 officers. This second classification was required because officers have different army prerogatives, as well as different trainings and their behavior could, thus, be better analyzed.
Statistics have indicated that young female soldiers are more inclined to commit suicide than their male colleagues. 95% of the respondents who tried to put an end to their lives were women, whereas only the remaining 5% were men.
According to scientists’ explanation, women who join the U.S. Army before they turn 25 years old have experienced many more psychological traumas (5.6 %). In addition, participants with small school performances were described as more likely to commit suicide during their work on the front. 2.0% female soldiers with high school degrees have tried to take their own lives during the Afghanistan and the Iraq wars.
At the opposite pole, very young soldiers (<21 years old), African-American, Asians and Mexicans have rarely experienced similar mental affections during the war. Older officers (>40 years old) have rarely complained of their army prerogatives and they rarely tried to commit suicide during the studied time interval.
Scientists have concluded in awe of the recent findings that this is the most comprehensive study to have ever been made on soldiers in the U.S. Army. Thanks to these new data, the U.S. Army hopes to find new methods for the improvement of their soldiers’ morale.
The study has been published in the journal JAMA Psychologies.
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