The Werther Effect
After Choi Jin Sil’s suicide last week, two other entertainers hanged themselves – transsexual Jang Chae Won and gay model Kim Ji Hu. The authorities have referred to this as the Werther Effect – or copycat suicides.
Choi Jin Sil died on the morning of October 2. Jang Chae Won hanged herself (him?) on October 3, while Kim Ji Hu was found dead on October 6. In less than a month, four entertainers in Korea decided to end their lives. (An Jae Hwan was found on September 8.)
Aside from the entertainers mentioned, there were ordinary people who also took their lives following the death of Choi Jin Sil and copying how she killed herself.
Jang Chae Won’s suicide and the Korean perception of gays and transgenders were our topics in last Tuesday’s lunch at school.