After a decade of official silence about Golden Gate Bridge jumpers, San Francisco officials yesterday reversed course and released a study of suicide statistics, the Chronicle reports. Having seen a slight increase in suicides in recent years—three people jump each month—officials concluded that it was time to abandon the copycat theory.
The report shows men jump three times as often as women, and that—contrary to received wisdom—most jumpers are locals. Fully 76% of suicides are witnessed by bystanders. Over the bridge’s 70-year history, more than 1,250 people have taken their lives there. The study was released to raise awareness in advance of debate over installing anti-suicide barriers.