Asian American´S Suicide Essay

1448 words - 6 pages

According to research, California State Fullerton professor Eliza Noh states that Asian-American women of the age 15 to 24 have the highest rates of suicide than any other racial, ethnic, or gender group. The “model minority” pressure—“socially produced pressure internalized by families of some Asian-American children to be high achievers at school and professionally”—plays a large factor to the issue, especially since girls, who are more affected by it than boys, are expected to become the “perfect mother, daughter, wife and get only A’s in school and choose the right type of job,” (Cruz 1). Noh adds on, saying that Asian-American women have a tendency “to ignore or deny stress, depression and other mental health problems” which “can cause the larger anxieties that lead to suicide,” (Hardin 265). The profound emphasis on cultural values in Asian society and the continuous denial of mental health issues in Asian-American families deteriorates the mental wellbeing of these women, further contributing to their suicidality.
As a young Asian-American woman, I find myself, like many others who fit the three criteria, suffering from the overwhelming weight of expectations bestowed by my family to succeed in life or face the shame and disappointment I would bring upon them lest I fail. Some may argue that the pressure to do well is not unique to Asian culture, and although that may be true for those who strive for great achievements, the level of importance on education only doubles when taken into account how significant child rearing is for Asian families (Hu 1). Because Asian parents spend more time on their children at the expense of their own time and ambitions, my grades are not only an indication of my intelligence and work ethics, but it is also a reflection upon my parents’ skills in raising me. Grades and awards are the top subjects of discussion between Asian families, because it displays the family’s abilities and wellbeing. To not have remarkable reports means to have wasted my parents’ time and to have shamed them into not mentioning me in the entire conversation at all.
Also, Asians place high value on the family unit with each individual designated a certain role and expected to “function within that role, submitting to the larger needs of the family. Women usually maintain that their husbands have a legitimate right to make final decisions, and they usually will withdraw from spousal conflict to maintain harmony within the family,” (Kramer 227-231). It is why Asian parents force Asian-American girls to behave a certain way and to do a certain task without question despite modern American culture, because, traditionally, the decision was never in their hands. “The cultural expectations are that Asian women don’t have that kind of freedom to hang out, to go out with friends, to do the kinds of things most teenagers growing up want to do,” said Dr. Dung Ngo, psychology researcher at University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, elaborating on why...

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