Self-mutilation is the deliberate attempt to inflict damaging pain or harm to one's body. Forms of self-mutilation include cutting, scratching, punching, burning, biting, and pinching. Women practice self-mutilation at higher rates than men and may do it for gender-specific reasons. Self-mutilation has been found throughout diverse groups of women, spanning differences in age, race, ethnicity, and class. While the practice is deliberate, it is often a compulsion that is difficult for women to control.

Adolescent women are the most likely group to practice self-mutilation, especially in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States. Research suggests that up to four times as many adolescent women have self-mutilated than their male peers. The UK has one of the highest rates of self harm in Europe at about ...

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