The Instigator
medv4380
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Emma Watson is Wrong About Male Suicide

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,053 times Debate No: 62929
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (26)
Votes (1)

 

medv4380

Pro

Emma Watson is Wrong About Male Suicide

"I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man. In fact, in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either." - Emma Watson

Full Resolution:
Emma Watson is wrong about male suicide being a problem because men wont get help because of fear, or that it would make them less of a man. Male suicide rates being high has very little to do with men not being emasculated enough to seek help, and if Emma Watson was aware of the actual issue her comments would have constituted actual man hating.

Note:
The resolution leaves Emma Watson’s knowledge of this in doubt. The resolution is not attempting to accuse Emma Watson of being a man hater. Only that if she were actually aware it would be man hating. The resolution is leaning towards the issue being more likely that Emma Watson is unaware of the facts.

Round 1 is for accepting, and defining any needed terms.

Definitions:
Man hating: The act of hating men, or masculine attributes of men.
Suicide: The act of ending, or attempting to end one's own life.
Emasculate: Depriving a man of his male identity, or forcing feminine ideals onto a man.

Debate Requirements:
Age: 18 or older
Debates: 5 or more
bluesteel

Con

I accept.

Since Round 1 is for definitions/framework, let's just be clear about the resolution. The "full" version actually contains *three* propositions, all of which Pro has the burden to prove:

(1) The following statement made by Emma Watson is "wrong": "men [are] unable to ask for help [for mental illness] for fear it would make them less of a man."

(2) The following statement is "wrong": male suicide rates are high because men feel too emasculated to seek help.

(3) Arguing in favor of propositions 1 or 2 constitutes "man hating."


If Pro fails to carry the burden to prove *any* of these three propositions, Pro loses.
Debate Round No. 1
medv4380

Pro

I’d like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

I must assume that my opponent accepts the provided definitions since there were no objections, or counter definitions presented.

Objections:
I will object to my opponents interpretation of my first burden of proof. The insertion of [for mental illness] should be [suicide]. Not all suicides are a result of mental illness since some actually deal with end of life conditions, and not all mental illness necessarily results in suicide. I have no objection to the second burden of proof. The final burden needs the condition that Ms. Watson is most likely unaware of the facts, and would be man hating only if she was aware.

Argument:

The suicide rate for men does appear to be high ranging from 3 men to every 1 woman to 10 men to every 1 woman[1]. This statistic is incomplete since this only includes successful suicides. When you include the attempted suicide the rate changes to 1 man to every 3 women.

Clearly there is a contradiction on the surface of those statistics, and it is what Ms. Watson, and others latch onto to draw their conclusions about male suicide. If you assume that men, and women are equally capable of suicide then you assume that there must be a large missing value for male suicide attempts.

The problem is in assuming that one of the facts is wrong in support of an unsupported assumption. If we look at some more statistics we can see if the assumption of capability is correct.

Methods:
These are the methods used by victims of successful suicides.

Men
Firearms: 56.8%
Suffocation: 23.4%
Poisons: 12.5%
Other: 7.3% [2]

Women:
Firearms: 32.4%
Suffocation: 19.7%
Poisons: 37.8%
Other: 10.0%[2]

As you can see the male method for suicide tends to be by firearms, and suffocation which happen to be about 85%, and 69% effective[3] where women tend to use poisoning which is about 1.5 to 4% effective[4]. Once you account for repeated attempts due to survival from poisoning, and it’s ineffectiveness the huge disparity is accounted for[4]. This leaves only two conclusions. Ether men are equally likely to attempt suicide, or that women are more likely to attempt suicide, but that men are more likely to use effective means.

Men are less likely to seek help for suicide because they are more likely to succeed on the first attempt, and women are more likely to seek help because poisoning takes a period of time where you can change your mind. Seeking medical attention to remedy a poison overdose results in the doctor referring the patent to therapy where there isn’t much of a second chance when you pick a firearm. The facts meet my first and second burdens.

Man Hating:
Ms. Watson probably never looked at the facts of suicide beyond the surface statistics. She’s probably unaware that most successful suicides give warning signs before the event[5].

However, if she were aware of the facts then what is she saying? She’s saying that learning the warning signs is too complicated, and that men need to change to fix this. This is hating men for being men, and shifts the blame to the suicide victim rather than force us to reexamine ourselves so that we’re better able to address the issue if we encounter it again. The problem with male suicide is that you don’t get a second chance very often.

I could say more, but I’d like to hand this round over to my opponent to respond at this time.

[1] http://www.who.int...
[2] http://www.suicide.org...
[3] http://www.hsph.harvard.edu...
[4] https://www.afsp.org...
[5] http://www.masspreventssuicide.org...

bluesteel

Con

== The Resolution ==

My opponent says that he objects to the insertion of [mental illness] for [suicide] in the first proposition he has to prove. However, let's look at what Emma Watson actually said. She said, "I"ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man." Since the topic is about whether Emma Watson is wrong, we have to look to her actual words. She said men can't seek help for *mental illness.* It doesn't even make sense to say that someone would seek help for "suicide." Suicide isn't really what you are seeking help for when you go to a therapist; you are seeking help for the underlying thoughts or illness that is causing suicidal ideation.

C1: Emma Watson is correct that men are less likely to seek help for mental illness

According to a study by Cole (2013) , "Endorsement of masculine norms . . . were associated with less willingness to engage in professional help-seeking as well as friends and family help-seeking when depressed." [1] Furthermore, the study found that "men view depression as a feminine disorder." [2] Men attempt to "prove their masculinity" by "engaging in rigid denial of distress and avoidance of psychological help when depressed." [2]

C2: Emma Watson is correct that untreated depression increases suicide risk

According to a study by the American College Health Association, "The number one cause of all suicides . . . is untreated depression." [3]

== Rebuttal ==

R1) The male suicide rate is not "high"

My opponent's argument is essentially that the rate of male suicide is not "high" because if you include *attempted* suicide, women *might* be just as likely to *try* to kill themselves as men (even though men are much more successful at accomplishing their suicides).

First, it is wrong for my opponent to conflate *attempted* suicide and successful *suicide.* Women attempt to use less lethal forms of suicide (like taking too many pills instead of shooting themselves) because women are more likely to use suicide as a "cry for help," rather than a way to end their lives. [4] The very real gender differences in the *methods* used demonstrates that many women attempt suicide because they *want* help, they just don't know how to ask for it. In contrast, men often just want to end their lives because they don't see seeking help as an option. Robin Williams' suicide is a prototypical example: he slit his wrists *and* hung himself. He wanted to die; he didn't want help.

The disparity in the *success* of male vs. female suicide attempts absolutely comes from the difference between male and female help-seeking, so it doesn't prove my opponent's point that Emma Watson is wrong.

Second, let's look at the rates in absolute terms. Annually in the U.S., there are about 40,000 suicides and an additional 713,000 attempted suicides. My opponent concedes that men are up to *10 times* more likely to kill themselves than women, whereas women are three times more likely to only attempt suicide than men. Thus, approximately 36,000 men kill themselves each year compared to only 4,000 women. In contrast, approximately 535,000 women *attempt* suicide per year, compared to 178,000 men *attempt* suicide per year.

So you can see that in absolute terms, women are actually far more likely to try to kill themselves (if you include successful suicides) than men are, but suicide is much more lethal in men. These absolute numbers show (once again) why it's wrong of my opponent to conflate *attempted* and *successful* suicides. Only 4,000 women die per year from suicide, compared to 36,000 men. Suicide is a leading cause of death for men, but you can't say the same for women. Therefore, it wasn't wrong of Emma Watson to say that we should be worried about the male suicide rate because it is "high."

Third, something doesn't become "not high" in absolute terms just because something else is also high. You wouldn't say that the number of traffic fatalities in this country wasn't "high" just because the number of heart attacks is also a large number. Therefore, the female suicide rate has no bearing on whether the male suicide rate is "high." Emma Watson would not be technically "wrong" that the male suicide rate was "high" even if the female rate was comparable.

R2) Man hating

My opponent claims it would be "man hating" if you knew all of the statistics about male suicide to still suggest that men should seek help. However, you can see from the above statistics that it's true: men are less likely to seek help than women, so one solution to the male suicide rate is to confront gender norms and tell men that it doesn't make them "less of a man" to seek help for depression.

My opponent claims that there are "warning signs" for suicide that are easily detectable by others and that if we could just recognize these warning signs, there would not be any suicides. However, a lot of suicides happen now that no one saw coming (e.g. Robbin Williams). The warning signs are a lot easier to see *after the fact,* than before the fact. Hindsight is 20/20. A *better* solution to the high male suicide rate is to confront gender norms and tell men that seeking treatment isn't feminine. Merely hoping that family and friends recognize the warning signs before it is too late is *not* a real solution.

In fact, it's not a solution at all. Socially isolated people are more likely to attempt suicide. [3] It's possible that a majorly depressed person doesn't have anyone close enough to them on a daily basis that it's even possible for someone to recognize the warning signs.

And even if someone *did* recognize the warning signs, what would they do? They'd try to send that person to *therapy.* The problem is that therapy doesn't work unless you *want* to go. You can't be dragged into therapy against your will. So if men don't want to seek professional help, recognizing warning signs won't do *anything.* Family and friends can play a constant game of "keep the scissors away from Johnny," but at the end of the day, Johnny won't truly get better unless he goes to therapy (and perhaps gets drug intervention).

So my opponent's solution -- of merely recognizing the warning signs -- is no solution at all. Emma Watson is correct that we have to fight gender norms if we want the male suicide rate to go down. What she said is not remotely "wrong," so my opponent utterly fails to meet the BOP as to *any* of the three propositions he had to prove.

[1] http://digitalcommons.unl.edu... [page 117]
[2] same source [page 120]
[3] http://arcadiantelepsychiatry.com...
[4] http://www.wikigender.org...
[5] http://www.cdc.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
medv4380

Pro

I have not conflated any part of the definition of suicide. I took the time to define suicide from the very first round. My opponent failed, address the issue in the first round when the definition was given as “The act of ending, or attempting to end one's own life.” This was done to reduce any confusion. Had my opponent taken the time to read the definitions she wouldn’t be confused, or accusing me of conflating anything this far into the debate. Any objection should have been raised in round 1. Ms. Watson’s claim is also about the inequality in male suicide. She made no attempt to differentiate the financial managers who’d ruined many lives and opted to jump out a window, or the old man who’d rather die quickly then slowly of cancer, or of the college student who just got dumped. She generalized all of them as being victims of absurd societal notion of what men should be.

Robin Williams:
Take note that my opponent has used Robin Williams as a “prototypical” example of male suicide. As tragic as Williams death was, was it really unexpected? Was he really untreated?

The truth about Williams death is a little more unsettling. His death should have been expected, and should have been treated. Williams was diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's. Part of what Parkinson’s causes is a drop in dopamine that reduces the ability to move. The changes in the brains chemistry due to Parkinson’s causes enhanced depression in patients[6].

Using Williams death as a “prototypical” male example is an unfortunate logical consequence of my opponents, and Ms. Watson’s, misguided belief that men just need to talk about it, and be more like women to make everything ok. If Williams wasn’t already being treated for depression than his doctors were incompetent at treating his Parkinson’s. If we blind ourselves, and write off his suicide as just another man who needed to be emasculated more than we fail to address the actual cause which was the Parkinson’s. If we ignore treating Parkinson's patients for depression when we know we should to improve their quality of life then the mistake was societies for not treating them when it knew better. It was not the patients fault for not being woman enough.

Furthermore, it wasn’t surprising to anyone involved. The general public was surprised, but the general public doesn’t have the right, or privilege of the personal affairs of a celebrity.

Bad Statistics:
My opponent has stated that “535,000 women *attempt* suicide per year, compared to 178,000 men *attempt* suicide per year”. This is erroneous. The correct statistic is that women attempt suicide 535,000 times per year. The statistic actually comes from how many people are hospitalized, and does not take into account repeated attempts. Had my opponent bothered to read the citation I used in my claim she would have avoided the statistic entirely. Since she shouldn’t be bothered to read anything from The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention I’ll just put it here.

“The difference in death rates among the most common suicide methods estimated at 80–90% for firearms and 1.5–4% for overdoses—helps to account for the roughly 4: 1 ratio of male-to-female suicides.”[4]

In other words there is no meaningful gap. Once you remove repeated attempts, and account for men having fewer opportunities for repeated attempts the number are more similar than dissimilar. Though reliable data on attempts has always been difficult to find.

Cry for Help:
“women are more likely to use suicide as a "cry for help," rather than a way to end their lives”
So rather than “talk” about it men should just use pills? The notion that women are suicide as a cry for help is bad stereotype. It could be that women are more interested in how their body is found which is another stereotype. The effectiveness has a lot more to do with changing common suicide drugs so they’re less likely to be effective against children who accidentally come across them. Cyanide is a great rat poison, but it’s about 99% effective against people to so using arsenic reduces the chance of killing a person, or by just outright banning the stuff because kids get a hold of it too easily[6].

Man Hating:
I’d go into my opponents argument more, but I’m a bit short on time. That, and I wasn’t anticipating that my opponent would go into Robin Williams suicide, and illustrate how clearly that this is man hating, and just how bad it is. I’ll just defer to my earlier remarks on Robin Williams, and my opponents blatant disregard for the details of someone's tragic death.

I’d have liked to have brought up young male syndrome, but time does not permit me at them moment. I’ll have to see if I can fit it in the next round.

[6] http://www.pdf.org...

bluesteel

Con

== Resolution ==

My opponent says something nonsensical about definitions. However, my argument was that Emma Watson *never actually said* that men don"t seek help for "suicide," she said that they don"t seek help for "depression." So the proposition my opponent has to prove is that men are *just as likely* as women to seek help for depression.

I never contested the definition of "suicide."

== Rebuttal ==

R1) Robin Williams

My opponent claims that Robin Williams proves that there are obvious warning signs that people can use to prevent suicide. However, people were *shocked* at Robin Williams"s death. My opponent claims that Robin Williams"s suicide was *not* surprising to "anyone involved," presumably meaning that Robin Williams"s family knew he had Parkinson"s and suffered from depression. However, this simply proves my point: even seeing those warning signs, no one in Robin Williams"s family was able to recognize that he was a suicide risk and stop him. If it was *so obvious* that Williams"s was going to commit suicide, my opponent is suggesting that no one in his family cared about him enough to stop him. That is obviously not true. The bigger issue was that Williams"s was living with largely untreated depression because as a man and as a celebrity, he didn"t want to face the stigma of going to therapy. Men are actually better at hiding their depression than women. According to Scientific American, "men are also more likely to be depressed for a longer period of time and to have their depression go undetected than are women." [1]

My opponent suggests that it would border on criminal negligence for a doctor not to ensure that a Parkinson"s patient is in psychotherapy because Parkinson"s causes decreased dopamine, but not *every* Parkinson"s patient is depressed nor does every Parkinson"s patient commit suicide. Parkinson"s patients are merely at an increased statistical likelihood of depression.

It"s simply not that easy to tell who is going to kill themselves and who isn"t. People know their own brains better than anyone else, so the *best option* to prevent suicide is for people to seek treatment for themselves, but the studies I provided last round prove that men *do* seek help much less often than women.

Criticism: New offcase argument

My opponent talks about how men don"t need to turn into women in order to seek treatment. He says (in regards to Robin Williams), "It was not the patients fault for not being woman enough." My opponent, through his use of language, reifies the same stereotypes that Emma Watson was critiquing, specifically that seeking treatment somehow makes you a woman -- or womanly. The idea that gender is binary and that "men must act like men" and "women must act like women" is the very *problem* in our society that causes men to be afraid to seek treatment for what they perceive as a "woman"s disease" (according to my source from last round). Vote my opponent down to reject his binary view of gender and embrace Emma Watson"s view of a society that does not care whether men are acting masculinely or femininely.

R2) Bad statistics?, good statistics?

Hospitalizations for suicide attempts is a good proxy for the total number of attempted suicides. My opponent never explains why these numbers are bad. He merely reiterates that men are four times more likely than women to (successfully) commit suicide and says that this does not constitute a "meaningful gap" in the suicide rates between men and women. However, 4 times more suicides *is* an *enormous* gap. If I told you that women were four times more likely to die in car crashes than men, you would want to know what it is about women"s driving that causes them to die so much more often. Likewise, with men killing themselves four times more often than women, you want to know *why* this gap exists. And the answer is that men are far *less* likely to seek treatment for their depression.

In addition, my opponent argues that if you account for repeated suicide attempts, the gap narrows. However, the "suicide rate" is the total number of people who successfully kill themselves per year. It *does* include repeated attempts where the person was "successful" on their last try. So this argument holds no weight. As my opponent said in Round 2, men kill themselves at a rate that is between four and ten times higher than that of women.

So Emma Watson was not wrong. Men are not only less likely to seek treatment, but are more likely to kill themselves.

R3) Cry for help

My opponent claims that maybe women use pills more often because they "care how their body is found." That"s a silly argument because people who commit suicide either don"t care about or have vastly discounted the impact their suicide will have on loved ones. If they cared about what loved ones would feel after they passed, they wouldn"t kill themselves at all. Furthermore, my source said that women are more likely to attempt suicide as a cry for help, rather than a legitimate attempt to end their lives, which explains much of these statistics. I think most people realize that taking 50 Tylenol is less likely to kill you than putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger.

Regardless, it"s not my burden to explain the gap between successful male and female suicide. It"s my opponent"s burden to prove either that (a) the gap doesn"t exist, or (b) the gap is not remotely caused by men being less likely to seek therapy. My opponent has utterly failed to do either. In fact, he doesn"t even contest that men are less likely to seek treatment (and has dropped this argument). Since this is one of the things he has to prove, he automatically loses.

R4) Man hating

My opponent essentially drops all my arguments here. And if anything, my opponent is engaging in man-hating by trying to impose his rigid view of masculinity upon men (as explained above, when my opponent implies that men would "become women" if they sought help more readily and were more open with how they were feeling). The burden that gender norms impose on men is enormous. They can"t cry without feeling like they are doing something "wrong" in society"s eyes, even when tragic things happen (like the loss of a parent). They can"t seek treatment for depression because that would be unmanly (as this debate explains). They can"t step down from any fight, even if they have to risk their life for a stupid reason. These gender norms are crushing and dangerous. My opponent should lose for perpetuating them alone.

But obviously, Emma Watson doesn"t hate men. She just wants men to stop killing themselves at a rate that is so much higher than women. If anything, she loves men and doesn"t want to see them suffer (by not seeking treatment) due to the imposition of gender norms upon them.

[1] http://www.scientificamerican.com...
Debate Round No. 3
medv4380

Pro

Understanding the Math:
Part of the problem here is understanding the basics of the math behind the statistics that are being used. To demonstrate this I’ll present a hypothetical situation using the facts that have been presented so far. Lets take a hypothetical species that I’ll call lemmings. Lets say that 1000 males, and 1000 females are born each year to these lemmings that are suicidal. Finally, lets say that after 10 years they die naturally, but that each year they will make a suicide attempt. It’s easy to see that if the success rate is equal that the attempt, and suicide ratios will remain equal. Lets say that we’re able to change the suicide rate by making cyanide less accessible, and that females tend to favor poison to jumping off a cliff. Now if we change the success rate to be 30% for males and 2% for females what happens? Well this graphs shows what happens, and as you can see after 10 generations the attempt ratio settles down at about 2.8 female attempts for each male attempt, and 5 male suicides for each female suicide. This is similar to what happens with humans, but at a much longer scale since we have longer life expectancies, and don’t have a scheduled time when an attempt would happen with the exception of spring[7].



Cry for Help, and Invalid Sources:
My opponent says that her source claims that women “cry for help” using poisoning. However, her source is a wiki that is easily edited, and prone to containing stereotypes along with personal bias. The source, wikigender.org, even cites wikipedia rather than cite the direct sources. It is little more than a commonly repeated stereotype with no actual data to back it up.

Even more so, my opponents claim that “If they cared about what loved ones would feel after they passed, they wouldn't kill themselves at all.” Is clearly false by most measures of suicide victims. One sign of suicide is “Making arrangements for family members.”[16] If they didn’t care then they wouldn’t bother to make arrangements. In many ways it’s thinking about being a shame, or a burden to the family that is their justification[16].

Acetaminophen/Paracetamol Misconceptions:
Acetaminophen, Tylenol, is actually extremely lethal. My opponent is under the misconception that Acetaminophen isn’t lethal, and that’s why women choose it. The truth is actually the opposite. Because women choose it we work to reformulate, and repackage it so that it isn’t very effective. In the UK it has been repackaged, and the result was a decrease in death by 43%[8]. No drug manufacturer wants their drugs assotiated with suicide so they're more than likely to help prevent it.

In the Asia-Pacific area men have access to a very powerful pesticide which makes the likelihood of death much higher for poisoning. As a result the international community has been looking at how to repackage, or reformulate the poison so that it doesn’t affect people[9].

Guns:
For men gun ownership is close to 45 percent, and only 15 percent for women[10]. Furthermore it’s gun ownership that correlates to gun deaths more than gender. When you split the US in half with 49 million people in the states with the highest gun ownership, and 50 million people in the states with the lowest gun ownership. The states with the highest rate of gun ownership from 2001 - 2005 accounted for 16.5 thousand firearm suicides, but the non firearm states only accounted for 4.3 thousand. Now if my opponent were correct we’d expect the men to be dead set at killing themselves, and find another reliable method like hanging to accomplish it. What’s amazing is that the non firearm deaths for both groups is the same at 9 thousand[11].

[15]

Simply by a change in the accessibility to guns reduced the firearm suicides by 75%. There was no emasculating of men to accomplish this small task. If the guns aren't there then the guy defaults to the same ineffective methods women use.

At this point, if the data existed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the hanging risk for men had more to do with the large portion of men with a literal noose around their necks as a neckties.

Williams:
I had thought that my opponent would have apologized, and dropped this point to discuss this more rationally.

My opponent has put themselves into contradiction. First my opponent claims that untreated depression is the most common cause of suicide. Had these events been 5 years ago my opponent may have had a point. However, 4 years ago treatment of depression of Parkinson's patients became standard practice[13]. Since Williams had been diagnosed and began early treatment the depression was being treated.

Williams suicide has more in common with tragic end of life issues where someone is given a diagnosis that they may not want to live with. Blaming Williams masculinity as my opponent has is man hating. It blinds us to any rational solution to the problem, and makes us think that if only men were more like women.

Vote Pro:
You should consider voting Pro by looking at the quality of our sources, and our arguments. My opponent has relied upon poor sources, and common stereotypes. If you’ve understood my argument then you should know that men have easy access to weapons, and the means to kill themselves beyond what women typically have access to. The measurable gaps are easily explained by the differences in success rates. Furthermore my opponent blaming Robin Williams death on his masculinity rather than the disease and end of life issues that are fact demonstrates my final burden of man hating.

If all we do is look at male suicide, and dismiss it by saying they need to be more feminine than we do a disservice to the victims, and hamstring ourselves in addressing the issue for future victims.

Thank you, I'd say more, but I had to edit this down to meet the character limit.

[7] http://well.blogs.nytimes.com...
[8] http://www.bmj.com...
[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[10] http://www.gallup.com...
[11] http://www.hsph.harvard.edu...
[12] http://www.acha-ncha.org...
[13] http://www.pdf.org...
[14] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[15] New England Journal of Medicine 2008;359:672-3
[16] http://www.helpguide.org...

bluesteel

Con

== Round Overview ==

Let's not forget what we're debating here. Pro has to prove *three things,* and he hasn't done so.

1) Pro had to prove that Emma Watson was wrong in saying that men are significantly less likely to seek treatment for depression. So Pro had to prove that men *seek treatment* just as often as women. In Round 2, I provided a study *proving* that men are less likely to seek treatment for mental illnesses. This proves Emma Watson's statement true. Pro has *never* contested this study. Pro agreed that if he failed to prove *any* of the three propositions, he lost.

2) Pro had to prove that Emma Watson was wrong to say that the male suicide rate is high because men don't seek treatment. I provided a study saying that the *biggest risk factor* for suicide is *untreated depression.* So if men seek treatment less often than women, we should *expect* the male suicide rate to be higher than the female suicide rate. And that's precisely what we see. Pro has never contested either study nor has questioned my chain of logic here. He merely plays *defense* and tries to prove that the gender gap in suicide rate can be explained away (in part) by other things. But Pro has the BOP here, not me. He can't win merely by playing defense, trying to chip away (piece by piece) at the gender gap in suicide rates. He had to prove that *none* of the gender gap is attributable to men being unwilling to seek treatment due to gender norms. And I have proven that this clearly plays a role.

3) Pro had to prove that once all the statistics are out there, Emma Watson's statement constitutes man-hating. However, I hope I have shown that there is -- at least -- enough doubt about the cause of the higher male suicide rate that someone who suggests that one of the major problems it that men don't seek help (due to gender roles, such as men having to be "strong" and seeing depression as a "female" disease). As long as a raise a reasonable doubt here, I prove that it's not man-hating to suggest what Emma Watson did.

== Rebuttal ==

Pro makes a ton of new arguments here and provides a bunch of new statistics, so you'll have to excuse me if I have to introduce new evidence to respond to him (in the last round). It's not unfair, he merely chose to make his strongest case in the last round, so he's forcing me to put new responses here.

R1) The "lemmings" argument

This argument doesn't make a whole lot of sense. At best, it's an analogy that attempts to show why attempts are the same as actual suicides. But they aren't. The male (successful) suicide rate is far higher than the female one. My opponent can't obscure that will lemmings analogies.

R2) Cry for help

I'm sorry, I got lazy and linked a wiki article for the proposition that one explanation for why women use less-lethal methods of suicide is that they are doing it as a cry for help. Here's a better source: George E. Murphy, M.D., an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, says, "An attempted suicide is not really an attempt at suicide in about 95 percent of cases. It is a different phenomenon. It's most often an effort to bring someone's attention, dramatically, to a problem that the individual feels needs to be solved. . . women tend to use methods that allow for second thoughts or rescue. Murphy says that when people intend to survive, they choose a slowly effective, or ineffective, means such as an overdose of sleeping pills. That contrasts to the all-or-nothing means like gunshots or hanging used by actual suicides." [1] Murphy concludes that since women sometimes *do* use more lethal methods, "women, when they intend to do it, can be just as effective as men in committing suicide. But they aren't so inclined." [1]

Thus, Murphy offers the best explanation for why women are more likely to use pills than men: they are using them more as a cry for help than as an actual attempt to end their own lives.

My opponent clarifies that acetaminophen can be quite deadly. I agree. However, it's *not* fast acting. An overdose of Tylenol can be treated as late as *8 hours* after the person took the overdose. [2] It's still possible to die from it, if you *conceal* from family and friends that you took the overdose. But a lot of women *don't* conceal that they took the overdose, which is why so many fall within the statistics for *attempted* suicide and not *successful* suicide. This just further proves my point that women are more likely to use suicide as a cry for help, not as an attempt to end their lives.

R3) Gun ownership is higher among men

This is my opponent's only remotely strong argument in this debate, and it's a brand new one, so you'll have to give me some leeway to respond to it, even though this is the last round.

I have two key responses. First, my opponent's *own source* says that *married* men are almost *twice* as likely as unmarried men to have firearms. So women are likely to *live* in a household that contains a gun, even if the gun was not purchased in their names. They could still easily commit suicide using a gun (either their husband or father's gun or by purchasing one for themselves). Second, and most importantly, in countries (like the UK) where gun ownership is illegal, the leading (and most lethal) cause of suicide is hanging. In Europe, 54.3% of men 35.6% resort to hanging. So in England, where Emma Watson is from, there are still large gender differences in lethality. Men are more likely to resort to hanging, women are more likely to resort to pills. Both genders have equal access to a *rope.* My opponent has some silly remark that men have easier access to neckties, so they can hang themselves more easily, but that's just silly. So the fact that the gender gap in suicide rates exists in countries where firearms are *banned* completely disproves my opponent's argument.

R4) Robin Williams

This is kind of just a distraction, given that one person is not going to prove anything for either side. I simply used Williams as an example because he used *two* methods of suicide (hanging and wrist slitting) to ensure he died. My opponent is the one who tries to stake the debate on proving that Robin Williams's death was preventable through other means, which doesn't even matter. The debate is about whether men are less likely to seek help. I linked an article that indicated that Williams was reluctant to seek help. He had sought help for substance abuse, but not for depression.

My opponent's claim that treatment for depression is "standard" for Parkinson's *does not appear* anywhere in his source. Depression only occurs in 40 percent of Parkinson's patients [3] and is not constant throughout their diagnosis, so it doesn't make sense to force *all* Parkinson's patients to be treated for depression.

And if anything, Robin Williams proves my point through the study I linked that says that men are *better* at and *more likely* to hide their depression from their loved ones, which is a further symptom of their shame (stemming from gender norms).

== Conclusion ==

I have proven the first proposition easily: that men *are* less likely to seek treatment for depression. The second proposition is also easily proven: one reason that men are more likely to commit suicide is because they are less likely to seek treatment. And the last proposition is the easiest of all to prove: the statistics *do* support Emma Watson's position (or at least aren't strong enough to oppose it), so her comments cannot be considered man-hating because they represent a valid conclusion based on the data.

Vote Con.

[1] http://www.sciencedaily.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://www.pdf.org...
Debate Round No. 4
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by AngelofDeath 2 years ago
AngelofDeath
Holy....

....Sh!t

That RFD though.... W.O.W.
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
debatability
i will vote today. i will note, my rfd definitely will not be seventeen parts XD
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
thanks for the RFD bladerunner
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 1/17:

An interesting debate, to say the least. I was asked to vote by Con, but that didn't affect my scoring--as most people know, it's part of my administration to get a vote on every debate, so while I might be voting on this one earlier than I might have otherwise, I would likely have voted on it anyway, both because I'm interested in it and because something tells me it's not going to get a lot of folks willing to read and judge it (which is unfortunate).

EW = Emma Watson
MI = Mental Illness

This is gonna be long...

Pro opens R1 by giving a brief overview of the situation.

Con clarified the resolutions somewhat in his acceptance.

R2 starts the debate proper. Pro objects to Con's reframing. There's some back and forth on this in subsequent rounds, but the original Emma Watson quote is quite clear, and frankly Pro is just wrong, on the mental illness vs. suicide point. The relevant quote was "I"ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man." It's clear that Ms. Watson was referring to mental illness-related suicide. In fact, her comments regarding men not seeking help are ONLY made in the explicit context of mental illness. The next sentence doesn't say anything about it at all, and the third sentence says "I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success."

Some of the way that Con rephrases I can see objecting to. The bracketed "mental illness", however, is not one of those things.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 2/17:

Pro's objection in R2 that not all suicides are related to MI is irrelevant to the EW quote and to the debate at large.

The modification of 3 seems fair, however, given what Pro said in R1.

I wish Pro had been more clear on the resolution from the get-go. Obviously, I usually defer to the resolution as framed by the instigator in the R1. But the resolution as Pro framed it originally was long and unclear. Looking at his first sentence:

"Emma Watson is wrong about male suicide being a problem because men wont get help because of fear, or that it would make them less of a man."

Is he saying that male suicide is not a problem, or that EW was only saying it WAS a problem because men won't get help? Rather, I think it's quite clear she was saying that it's a problem, and these are the causes of the problem. It's clear from the quote itself that she's talking about mental illness.

Let's look at the rest of the resolution: "Male suicide rates being high has very little to do with men not being emasculated enough to seek help,"

He was unclear here--is he saying that the suicide rates are not due to men not seeking help, or that they're not due to them being too emasculated to seek help? It's two different point--one, he's saying that them not seeking help is not an issue, or the other, that the reason for them not seeking help is not emasculation.

"and if Emma Watson was aware of the actual issue her comments would have constituted actual man hating. "

This part is the clearest, and the least contentious, though as Pro notes Con didn't add the caveat of the "if she was aware".

I appreciate Con's attempts to clarify the resolution, particularly given the language there with suicide vs. mental illness.

I'm proceeding under these versions which, admittedly, I've paraphrased somewhat...brackets are included as they were in the original, if they were, but while largely a quote please don't take it as one (I'm not bracketing my o
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 3/17:

(1) The following statement made by Emma Watson is "wrong": "men [are] unable to ask for help [for mental illness] for fear it would make them less of a man."

(2) The following statement is "wrong": male suicide rates are high because men feel too emasculated to seek help for mental illness.

***********
(2') (Implied from 2) mental illness is not a significant contributing factor to the suicide rate of men.

and/or

(2') (implied from 2) men do not fail to seek treatment for mental illness due to feelings of being emasculated if they do so.

and/or (possibly)

(2') Suicide is not a greater problem for men than women / Male suicide is not a problem

I'm still not clear, at this point in the debate, which of these Pro intends to argue--maybe both.
************

(3) Arguing in favor of propositions 1 or 2, knowing the information which makes them "wrong", constitutes "man hating" (with the implication that EW just doesn't "know better").

As a note, I don't see Pro as having to defend either 2', 2', or 2' specifically, they're just the points that could be "wrong". I kept it in mind since Pro does spend some time discussing the reasons for suicide.

Pro seems to concede that he needs to support 1, 2, and 3 in order for his case to stand.

Pro moves on from quibbles of resolutions and burdens to the actual case itself.

Pro concedes that the suicide rate "appears" to be higher for men than women, being somewhere between 3:1 and 10:1. He argues that suicide attempts, however, show a 1:3 ratio.

Pro argues that "Clearly there is a contradiction on the surface of those statistics, and it is what Ms. Watson, and others latch onto to draw their conclusions about male suicide. If you assume that men, and women are equally capable of suicide then you assume that there must be a large missing value for male suicide attempts."

I'm not sure that follows whatsoever, just on its face, as Con seems to address next round.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 4/17:

Nowhere have I heard anyone argue, nor is it in the EW quote, that there's a large "missing" segment of suicide *attempts*, nor does she even mention *attempts* whatosever. The quote addresses mental illness and suicide.

Pro says: "The problem is in assuming that one of the facts is wrong in support of an unsupported assumption. If we look at some more statistics we can see if the assumption of capability is correct."

That seems nonsensical. Ignoring, for the moment, that I have no idea where he's getting this "assumption" from, how could we judge equal capability if there's an assumption of an entire missing chunk of attempts?

Pro shows that the men are more likely to use firearms, and women are more likely to use poisoning, arguing that "This leaves only two conclusions. Ether [sic] men are equally likely to attempt suicide, or that women are more likely to attempt suicide, but that men are more likely to use effective means."

The statistics Pro provides in this section dont' support the first conclusion at all, so I don't see how we're left with it.

But Pro says this, next, which I think is him finally getting to his point:

"Men are less likely to seek help for suicide because they are more likely to succeed on the first attempt, and women are more likely to seek help because poisoning takes a period of time where you can change your mind. Seeking medical attention to remedy a poison overdose results in the doctor referring the patent to therapy where there isn"t much of a second chance when you pick a firearm. The facts meet my first and second burdens."

So, based on this, it appears his argument is that the reason men don't seek help is NOT a fear of emasculation, but rather because they succeed on their first attempt, and that women only get help <em>after</em> their first (unsuccessful) attempt. He offers no evidence to support this contention that women get help after their first attempt.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 5/17:

Which is interesting given that he next argues, in support of it being "man hating":

"Ms. Watson probably never looked at the facts of suicide beyond the surface statistics. She"s probably unaware that most successful suicides give warning signs before the event."

If that's the case, Pro, as a reader I'm asking myself "then why aren't these men giving off the warning signs getting help?" Isn't that the motion? Aren't we trying to figure that out? Aren't we trying to figure out why more men kill themselves than women? It seems that Pro's only argument is that unsuccessful suicide attempts are the reason that women get treatment, while men succeed on their "first try". But this doesn't account, on its face, for the disparity in total suicide attempts--which is a big deal, that Con touches on next round.

Pro closes his argument by saying, in support of it being "man hating", that "if she were aware of the facts then what is she saying? She"s saying that learning the warning signs is too complicated, and that men need to change to fix this."

He doesn't support this contention. She lays the blame on the fear, it's true, but where the fear comes from is not explicitly noted to be the "Fault" of the men with the fear--an equally reasonable interpretation is an indictment of society for making men feel that way, which is how I read the quote. Pro hasn't given us a justification to prefer his interpretation of the quote.

We move on to Con's R2:

Con opens with his defense of his reframe, which I already noted I found to be pretty accurate. He doesn't concede the "if she knew" part, but I'm going to assume that his dropping of it was a concession.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 6/17:

Con moves on to his (sourced) contentions, that I'll briefly summarize:

He contends that EW was right to say that men are less likely to seek help for Mental Illness. His C1 also folds in that they're less likely to do it for fear of emasculation, too (which really should have been separated, incidentally, from a structure standpoint).

He contends that untreated depression increases the risk of suicide--and his quote seems to indicate that it's *successful* suicides that he's talking about.

What he hasn't addressed in his constructive, though, is Pro's contention that the disparity is due to men's propensity for using more successful means of attempted suicide. That seems to be because he addresses it as the very next thing in his rebuttals.

He opens the rebuttals by saying "My opponent's argument is essentially that the rate of male suicide is not "high" because if you include *attempted* suicide, women *might* be just as likely to *try* to kill themselves as men (even though men are much more successful at accomplishing their suicides)."

This seems a bit unfair in terms of restatement, as Pro's statistics actually shows that "if you include attempted suicide" women are MORE likely, not just as likely, to try to kill themselves, "(even though men are much more successful at accomplishing their suicides)."

Con argues that it's wrong to conflate attempted suicide with successful suicide.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 7/17:

He claims, and sources, that women are more likely to use a suicide attempt as a "cry for help", arguing that women don't know HOW to get help, and so use a suicide attempt to get it, while men don't see help as an option, and therefore use a more likely lethal method. He calls Robin Williams "prototypical" for this (though I don't think that's quite the right word, but I digress), arguing that his method of suicide was such that it's clear he wanted to die, and had no intentions of using the attempt as a way to get help.

Con says that "The disparity in the *success* of male vs. female suicide attempts absolutely comes from the difference between male and female help-seeking, so it doesn't prove my opponent's point that Emma Watson is wrong."

Con argues that when looking at the hard numbers, as opposed to the statistics alone, it "show[s] ... why it's wrong of my opponent to conflate *attempted* and *successful* suicides. Only 4,000 women die per year from suicide, compared to 36,000 men. Suicide is a leading cause of death for men, but you can't say the same for women. Therefore, it wasn't wrong of Emma Watson to say that we should be worried about the male suicide rate because it is "high.""

He also argues that by saying that the suicide of men was a problem, it is not implied that the suicide of women is NOT a problem.

Con argues that, rather than being man-hating, "one solution to the male suicide rate is to confront gender norms and tell men that it doesn't make them "less of a man" to seek help for depression." given his arguments that fear of emasculation is a contributing factor to men not getting help. He also argues that hoping friends and family see "warning signs" is not a real, or plausible, solution, particularly given that socially isolated people are more likely to commit suicide...and are, by virtue of isolation, less likely to have someone see the "warning signs".
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
medv4380bluesteelTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.