March 12, 2010 by stumpedagain | Edit
Suicidal Slop from our Intrepid Reporters.
A spate of recent news stories have chronicled an uptick in the suicide rate among troops serving in the military. That’s something we should be concerned about. But the quality of the reports is another example of the anti-military bias of the press corps (or is it the “press corpse?”).
The numbers are indeed higher than would be expected from the general population. And that’s where the investigating and questioning ends. The prejudices have been confirmed: “See? The military is a horrible, corrosive, dehumanizing institution. Stay away from it.”
Without boring you with tables of data, let’s clear up a few things. In the general population, males have suicide rates 4 to 5 times higher than those of females, and the military, especially the Army and the Marine Corps, is very heavily male. Secondly, young people have a significantly higher rate than the general population, and the military, especially the Army, is young. Furthermore, young people living away from home are more prone to suicide than their counterparts at or close to home, and all young soldiers end up living away from home.
In other words, crunch the numbers, all the numbers. Soldiers are no more likely to commit suicide than male college freshmen living in the dorm.