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iNow
Post  Post subject: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:25 am
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Recent studies show that white males in the US aged 45-54 are dying at higher rates due to suicide (both immediate due to guns and slowly from drugs and alcohol) relative to their non-white peers (whose lifespans are on average increasing) and relative to the rates of the past. Most indicators suggest this problem is localized to the US and to whites in this age range.

Various reasons have been suggested. Why do you think this is occurring?

Could it be as simple as acute feelings of loss of white privilege?

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cass ... -americans
http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/03/health/de ... americans/

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:44 am
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One possibility is that middle-aged white males genuinely do have fewer life opportunities when compared with their non-white peers. I'm not saying that it is the case - I haven't read around this topic at all - only that it might be. Wouldn't it be ironic if US workplaces had to start a policy of positive discrimination in favour of white citizens.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:19 pm
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The numbers don't seem to bear that out. They may be trending upward or downward within groups, but the overall difference between groups is stark (and across most metrics, except death rate by slow and fast suicide, white males in the US seem to be doing well).

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GiantEvil
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:59 pm
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Slow suicide makes some sense as a metric to me, but how reliable is it? How does one differentiate between slow suicide and addiction without a death wish?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:01 pm
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Good question, and I'm not sure such a distinction is possible, though the outcome is the same. Whether we call it an increase in slow suicide or and increase in rates of addiction, it's an increase of the same behavior leading to an increase in deaths.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/healt ... finds.html
Quote:
Analyzing health and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from other sources, they concluded that rising annual death rates among this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.
<snip>
The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014.
<snip>
In contrast, the death rate for middle-aged blacks and Hispanics continued to decline during the same period, as did death rates for younger and older people of all races and ethnic groups.

Middle-aged blacks still have a higher mortality rate than whites — 581 per 100,000, compared with 415 for whites — but the gap is closing, and the rate for middle-aged Hispanics is far lower than for middle-aged whites at 262 per 100,000.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:33 pm
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Is there any difference in divorce rates between the two groups? I'm just thinking, since the US - like the rest of the West - has seen a relative weakening of patriarchal societies with strong central male providers heading the nuclear family, then maybe middle-aged white males are not coping with the fallout from that as well as non-white males?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:22 am
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Maybe, but white males don't seem to be experiencing higher divorce rates than other groups (at least not as of 5 years ago... Maybe that's changed).

I raised the same possibility on another forum where this topic is being discussed and was corrected with this citation: http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p70-125.pdf

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:51 am
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Or maybe it's an outlook on the part of white males - something real but not as tangible as divorce rates. Perhaps white males feel a loss of patriarchal power, despite their marriages remaining intact on paper?

I hate to say it (and I do genuinely mean that) but I think in this case qualitative data might shed light on the issue in a way that quantitative data would overlook?

I guess the best way to analyse somebody's psychological condition is to have a dialogue with them, and really listen. Not to give them a ticksheet exercise where they rank their overall happiness on a scale of 1-5.

Excuse me while I cleanse my soul by performing some chi squared tests.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:57 pm
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Lol.

There is the concept of white privilege, and you seem to be suggesting that maybe this result is due to the sense of loss white males may be feeling (whether consciously or unconsciously) as that "privilege" gets smaller and continues to diminish and gets more and more extinguished each day. Is that correct?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:27 am
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Not necessarily white privilege. It might have more to do with different gender roles than with race. The question then would be, why are middle aged white men more susceptible to this effect than middle aged non-white males? Perhaps white men have traditionally exerted more power over females whereas non-white males are more accustomed to a fairer distribution of power between the sexes? (I'll try to refrain from mentioning gender since it's a social construct I don't believe in).

Anyway, I'm not suggesting that any of this is correct - I'm just generating possibilities.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:41 am
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Rory wrote:
Not necessarily white privilege. It might have more to do with different gender roles than with race. The question then would be, why are middle aged white men more susceptible to this effect than middle aged non-white males? Perhaps white men have traditionally exerted more power over females whereas non-white males are more accustomed to a fairer distribution of power between the sexes? (I'll try to refrain from mentioning gender since it's a social construct I don't believe in).

Anyway, I'm not suggesting that any of this is correct - I'm just generating possibilities.

Let's assume for a moment that's true. Doesn't that still imply that the loss of perceived privilege is responsible for the increased rates of suicide?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:29 pm
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A good article this week from Fareed Zakaria following up on this topic.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... story.html
Quote:
But why don’t we see the trend among other American ethnic groups? While mortality rates for middle-age whites have stayed flat or risen, the rates for Hispanics and blacks have continued to decline significantly. These groups live in the same country and face greater economic pressures than whites. Why are they not in similar despair?

The answer might lie in expectations. Princeton anthropologist Carolyn Rouse suggested, in an email exchange, that other groups might not expect that their income, standard of living and social status are destined to steadily improve. They don’t have the same confidence that if they work hard, they will surely get ahead. In fact, Rouse said that after hundreds of years of slavery, segregation and racism, blacks have developed ways to cope with disappointment and the unfairness of life: through family, art, protest speech and, above all, religion.
(snip)
The United States is going through a great power shift. Working-class whites don’t think of themselves as an elite group. But, in a sense, they have been, certainly compared with blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and most immigrants. They were central to America’s economy, its society, indeed its very identity. They are not anymore.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:30 pm
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Yes, it would still be loss of perceived privelege - but in this case it would be male privelege rather than white privelege.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:40 pm
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I can relate, on a personal level, to Zakaria's point about expectations. It used to upset and frustrate me when my efforts were not rewarded justly. Now I just see it as an aspect of the world that most people endure. I think most people learn to develop a happiness that is independent of circumstance. There's no sense in killing yourself just because others don't appreciate you.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:04 pm
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MODNOTE: Posts regarding utilitarianism and the concept of worth have been split into their own thread here: post20927.html#p20927

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Sat May 28, 2016 10:32 pm
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Looks like it's actually white women having the problem (particularly in the south) and previous reports of white men were in error (as death rate for them has actually decreased):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mon ... he-legend/
Quote:
It turned out, though, that (a) the trends in death rates among men was much different then women, and, in fact, (b) after adjusting for age composition (the “middle-aged” category in the United States has had an increase in average age during the past two decades as the baby-boom generation has moved through), the death rate among middle-aged white men has actually decreased during the past few years.

The comparison with other ethnic groups and other countries still seems strong — Case and Deaton’s main findings hold up — but it’s just wrong to report that middle-aged white men are dying off. No matter how you slice it, it’s white women who are having the problem.


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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Sun May 29, 2016 11:17 am
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Heroin use increased significantly among whites, especially in the MidWest, along with prescription drug abuse e.g. opioids, and black market synthetic drugs. Crack is old news and covers a different demographic. It'll be interesting to see what effect the sudden and total switch from heroin to fentanyl will make. In Vancouver there is already zero real heroin on the streets. Public health emergency declared due to spike in overdoses. US fentanyl is often distributed as pills, so it might appeal to different people than smoked or injected drugs do.


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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: White male mortality in the US  |  Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:36 am
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Prescription opioids -> street market opioids -> heroin -> fentanyl overdose.

Case closed?


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