Friday, October 19, 2012

The Vulnerability of Desire: Samson syndrome and other stories | Suicides in military history

The Vulnerability of Desire: Samson syndrome and other stories | Suicides in military history

Mark Atteberry (Author) 

Book Description

April 3, 2003

The story of Samson is the perfect vehicle to reveal the twelve tendencies that can bring down strong men: disregarding their boundaries, struggling with lust, ignoring good advice, overestimating their own cleverness, and others.
Written in a compassionate, funny, and practical style, The Samson Syndrome offers readers powerful ideas for making sure they use their greatest strengths to honor God in every situation.



Hadrian sexuality - GS

Shakespear sexuality - GS

Lincoln sexuality - GS

Reflections in a Golden Eye - GS

Stoicism on Desire - GS

Suicidal behaviors in military history: the claim to liberty and victory amidst defeat

Scholarly articles for Suicidal behaviors in military history

Search Results
  1. Largest Ever Study Of Suicide In The Military
    18 Jul 2009 – Historically, the suicide rate has been lower in the military than among ... for research to address, suicidal behavior is a complex phenomenon.
Comments: This is a very important and valuable sociological paper on the subject:

Suicide, Social Integration, and Masculinity in the US Military ...
Nevertheless, the history of suicide within Western military populations provides ..... Understanding suicidal behavior in the military: an evaluation of Joiner's ... 

"These increases in military suicide rates have been striking, even given the notorious difficulties in determining accurate statistics for military suicide. First, suicides among military personnel are frequently misclassified as deaths from accidents or undetermined causes; such classification errors may lead military suicide totals to be as much as 21% higher than reported (Carr, Hoge, Gardner, & Potter,2004, p. 233)."

"These increases in military suicide rates have led a number of experts and commentators to refer to military suicide as a “hidden epidemic” (Sklar,2007). The origins of this epidemic have proven difficult to detect."

"Investigators of military suicide have been cautious about attributing this putative epidemic to a single cause (Stewart, 2009)."

"Finally, the military’s “warrior culture” has been thought to discourage soldiers from speaking openly about their psychological and emotional fragility (Alvarez, 2009;Dinges & Mueller, 2009). This inhibits the ability of mental health practitioners to recognize suicidal individuals and hinders the healing process necessary to overcome suicidal ideation and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Alvarez, 2009; Dinges & Mueller,2009). The lethality of all of these factors is significantly magnified by the ready access to firearms characteristic of military life (Mahon, Tobin, Cusack, Kelleher, & Malone, 2005; Martin,Ghahramanlou-Holloway, Lou, & Tucciarone, 2009)."

"Durkheim’s theory of the protective nature of social integration forms the foundation for what has become known as social capital theory..."

"Identity itself is rewritten through the “depersonalization and deindividuation in which the military, in the form of drills sergeants, must strip the individual of all previous self-definition” (Herbert, 1998, p. 9).

Comments: One of the important factors might be general rigidity of military subculture, code of conduct, discipline and training which place a significantly stringent demands on individual capacity for integrating this image and social role of "ideal (or idealised) soldier" with complexities, paradoxes, contradictions and general "harmoniously chaotic" nature of individual emotional life and deep instinctual drives, with individual "Animula Vagula Blandula"; and more so if it is covered by a mask of omnipotent strength and toughness. One of my clinical observations is that suicides occur more often in those, in whom you relatively suspect and expect it the least, because 1) when you suspect it, you do something to prevent it and 2) the more rigid and inflexible is the mask, designed to convey the sense of invulnerability and health, the more vulnerable and fragile is its carrier and the more chances are there for the "breaking point".

"Gender identity is central to the formation of social capital in the military. Even Stewart (1991, p. 89), whose study does not employ “gender” as a central analytic, describes the military as a “cult of masculinity”.  Melissa S.Herbert (1998, p. 7), in her study of female soldiers, notes that the masculine nature of military society has been so widely recognized that there is “little dispute” over the matter. She argues that the specificity of the military is that it is “structured along the lines of gender, not age, race, or physical fitness” (Herbert,1998,p.7). It is by emphasizing masculinity and rigidly separating the male from the female that the military creates social capital from a group of soldiers whose economic statuses, ethnicities, and ideologies might otherwise place them in conflict with one another (Herbert, 1998; Stewart, 1991). Masculine unity thus forms the “cementing principle” of military life (Harrison, 2003, p. 75)."

Comments: Generally speaking military mentality might be viewed as the expression of the need (and necessity) for masculine (male) control and domination. Hence the historical phenomenon of mass rapes (including the less frequent in recent times, but probably quite wide spread in the past occurrences of male rapes [as a substitute for killing]; turning the defeated male enemy into a woman, both symbolically and to a certain degree in a real sense; thus neutralising and neutering this enemy's threat to the conqueror's own masculinity). Thus for those who viewed gays as "women in male bodies" (and therefore as the potential objects of psychosexual domination and rape), the destruction and deprivation of this institutional notion and image constitute a blow to their own idealised self-image and a social role as dominant heterosexual male warriors and might lead towards unraveling of the deep intrapsychic conflict, especially if the elements of latent homosexuality are present.

"As Whitworth (2008,p.119) notes “recent studies in the USA indicate that between 43 and 60 percent of female enlisted personnel experience some form of physical or sexual harassment or violence”. This physical and sexual abuse attests to the exclusion of women within the military."

Comments: These statistics are truly shocking and feel almost inconceivable. Is it not an indication that something, at some level is deeply wrong with the subculture and prevailing attitudes, and the need for change is ripe?

 "As a result of their exclusion, women in the military may be more prone to externalize their frustration via homicide, rather than internalizing it (as do men) via suicide."

"Tapering the effect of masculine fatalism on suicidal behavior will thus entail addressing military culture directly."

Comments: Apparently, the maximal approximation of military subculture to the norms, values and attitudes of the mainstream culture of the great country would the most healthy, productive and promising approach.


Research Efforts Toward Reducing Suicide Behavior Among Military ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
Reducing Suicide Behavior. Among Military Servicemembers and Veterans. U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. Military Operational Medicine ...

  1. [PDF]

    Strategic Direction for the Prevention of Suicidal Behavior
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
    Prevention's (CDC) work to prevent fatal and nonfatal suicidal behavior. ..... and active or retired military personnel.2 ... turation, and disconnection from history ...

Marcus Antonius and Cleopathra - GS