Sexually active teen girls depressed

A study has found sexually active teenage girls are more likely to be depressed than chaste girls.

Research which appeared recently in the Journal of Health Economics has found that young girls who are sexually active often experience feelings of guilt, low self-esteem, regret and shame, and are far more likely to suffer from depression than those who remain chaste.

The study found that sexually active teen girls have more than double the rate of depression of those who are not sexually active – 19 percent compared to 9.2 percent.

Dr. Trevor Stammers, a lecturer on sexual ethics and chairman of the Christian Medical Fellowship in the UK, said the new study confirmed that most girls “retrospectively showed regret about early intercourse.”

This may be partly because early sexual activity causes depression, but in my opinion is mainly the other way around – depressed teenage girls with a low self-esteem are more likely to seek to be valued in a sexual relationship than girls who are comfortable with themselves.

This is where fathers are important. A girl will want to be valued by men, either consciously or subconsciously. Without a father to value her (or with an abusive father) a girl is more likely to have low self-esteem and seek male affection and value in a sexual relationship. If we ever want to reduce our rates of teen pregnancy, depression, STDs, and single parenthood we must support and encourage fathers. You won’t stop these things with reactionary band-aids like condoms and antidepressants, you need to address the root causes – which come back to the family.

Hat tip: Family First

EDIT: If you have found this post while searching for support as you or someone you know is pregnant or has just had an abortion, Bethlehem House (Family Life International) offers free crisis pregnancy and post-abortion counseling in New Zealand. Check out or call 0800 3675433.

If you are not in New Zealand do some internet searching and you may find a similar local service.

10 Responses to “Sexually active teen girls depressed”

  1. Sb Says:

    I agree with your comments, many of these studies are flawed in their approach and from what I have seen this is just another one however

    “you need to address the root causes – which come back to the family.”

    What does the Family Party actually plan to try and do to effect the issue described in the report.

    Real actions not wishy washy stuff like “strengthen the family” actual actions? and why do you think those actions would have an effect in this area ?


  2. Mr Dennis Says:

    I recommend you read our Family Policy to see what we are intending to do, but I will summarise a few points of it here.

    Promote abstinence in sex education:
    Abstinence needs to be promoted as the first and best option, followed by information on contraception. This is completely opposite to what is currently taught.

    Promote marriage:
    Define marriage as only between a man and a woman for life, and bear in mind through all policies that they must encourage marriage and parental longevity, rather than separation. For example, you get more money on the DPB if you are separated than if you are together – this needs to change.

    Encourage greater involvement from fathers in the home:
    Fix the DPB as stated above. Demand greater accountabilities from fathers towards their children – this could in part involve making it harder for fathers to avoid paying child support. Allow the family court to order paternity tests when this is in doubt.

    Trust parents to raise their own children:
    Fix the smacking law so parents can choose what discipline method they feel is best. Ensure government doesn’t undermine the rights and responsibilities of parents. Require parental consent for teen abortions. Place parents in charge of where their children are schooled through funding following the child.

    Raise the drinking age back to 20:
    Less availability of alcohol at a younger age, teens are less likely to become sexually active while their inhibitions are weakened by alcohol.

    Help families financially:
    GST off basic necessities, lower taxes – a range of financial policies.

    In my opinion, the most effective parts of this to reduce teen pregnancy will be promoting abstinence, encouraging the role of fathers, and raising the drinking age.

  3. Sb Says:

    Thank you for your response and I read the link you provided but really its so light weight that its a joke. You all but claim you will cure world hunger, if you actually want to get MP into parliament you will have to firm it up big time.

    “Promote abstinence in sex education:”
    Through out the western world this has been a miserable failure, what will the Family party do that will make their policy a success when so many others have tried so hard yet still failed?

    “Promote marriage:” what does this actually mean in practise? You say changing the DBP but I would suspect that this would have little or no effect (2%). There is no sign that this would cause anything other than some couples “pretending” to be together to get a better allowance.

    “Encourage greater involvement from fathers in the home:”
    How? I don’t think the DBP will have any effect. If a father or mother has decided to move out then most of the policies that the family party talk about are actually slamming the gate hard after the horse has bolted through it!

    I support the idea of making it harder to avoid paying child support but that again is after the marriage has broken it would do nothing to keep the marriage together.

    “Require parental consent for teen abortions.”
    Very divided on whether this is a good idea. Question why should a 18 year old require parental permission for a abortion?

    “Raise the drinking age back to 20:
    Pointless, any 18 year old could get as much booze when the law was 20 as they wanted. just window dressing would have no effect.

    “Help families financially:”
    Taking GST off sounds good but there are several studies showing that it would have a small effect short term and a very bad effect long term. Some tax changes could help though – what would you actually do?


  4. Paul Says:

    Wow is this right? The chairman of The Christian Fellowship comes-up with statistics to back-up Christian doctrine? This is earth shattering ‘independent’ research merely goes to show the world pommy men are useless in the sack (in a biblical sense of the term naturally)

  5. Mr Dennis Says:

    Abstinence has only failed when “abstinence – only” programs are promoted, ie when teens are told to abstain and given no information on contraception. Then those that do have sex then don’t use contraception, and the end result can be worse.

    We are proposing a dual approach, promoting abstinence as the best option, accompanied by information on contraception. This is very different from the failed overseas programs you refer to. But on that note, the only African country to make any headway against AIDS is Uganda, where abstinence is promoted. It is important to present abstinence as a valid option, but in practice (and I went through the system not that long ago), the general assumption at present is that all teens are at it like rabbits and all you can do is give them condoms, which is nonsense.

    Raising the drinking age will not stop 18 year olds getting booze, they could always get it when the drinking age was 20. But it will make it harder for 15 year olds to get booze, putting parents in greater control of younger teens, and that is where it will help.

    In terms of tax, long-term we want to move to a lower, flatter tax structure. In other words, as you earn more you aren’t penalised as severely by higher tax brackets. This encourages personal achievement, and means fewer families need state support at all.

    You cannot legislate to stop family breakdown, that is a personal choice. All you can do is provide an environment that supports families, in the hope that more families will take advantage of that and stick together. If you think these policies would be ineffective, what do you propose instead? If you have some good ideas we may well be able to implement them.

  6. Sb Says:

    “But on that note, the only African country to make any headway against AIDS is Uganda, where abstinence is promoted.”

    Actually that’s not true, though people do claim it.

    The reason that it is not true is that there is a massive lag between changing a policy in this area and the effect appearing in the figures. Its in the order of 7-10 years between making the change and the change actually being identifiable.

    The abstinence crowd started making claims after only 2 years which means what they were measuring was the effect of the previous policy not their policy.

    Its now possible to see the effect of their abstinence only policy and yes HIV rates are creeping up again


  7. Sb Says:

    I also meant to say…

    “If you think these policies would be ineffective, what do you propose instead? ”

    My concern is that to much time is spent on effect rather than cause. We don’t have a clear idea why some of these effects are happening in society yet without this knowledge its almost impossible to identify a solution.

    There is no point in telling a 15 years old girl either the abstinence message or the condom message if she makes the conscious choice to ignore both of them. We need to understand why she made that choice.

    People spend to much time talking about “sending a message” without spending any time on why people ain’t listening.

    I don’t see things as dark as you seem to. I would like to see people talking about and trying to understand the issues rather than standing on soap box’s preaching that their way is the right and only way.


  8. Mr Dennis Says:

    Our policies come about from trying to understand the issues, we have people from many walks of life in the party, and our policies are designed to solve the real issues. But if we misunderstand the issues in any one area please point that out.

    “There is no point in telling a 15 years old girl either the abstinence message or the condom message if she makes the conscious choice to ignore both of them. We need to understand why she made that choice.”

    That is true. We can understand many of the reasons why already – looking to be valued by a man, being an impulsive teenager who doesn’t consider the consequences to her actions… but knowing more reasons would help.

    However at present the information given to teenagers can be demonstrably false. In the few encounters I have had with Family Planning, through school and otherwise, I have encountered:
    – A family planning teacher bragging about how she managed to convince a class that if they didn’t masturbate their balls would fall off, and thinking this was really funny.
    – A family planning teacher vehemently proclaiming that you “cannot catch HPV through a condom”, denying that you can still catch it while using a condom when challenged in front of the class (it is transmitted by skin contact from the entire genital region), then admitting she knew the truth privately afterwards.
    – A family planning nurse saying that the morning after pill stopped sperm working and prevented conception, rather than allowing conception but preventing implantation (the truth).
    – A GP who recommends his patients to ignore everything Family Planning says because he has had to fix too many people who have been damaged through bad advice from them.

    This is the current state of sex education in New Zealand. It needs a radical shake-up. Abstinence is the best option – it prevents both pregnancy and STDs. Contraception is the second option – it reduces the risk of pregnancy and some STDs. They both need to be taught, in that order.

    In no way are we standing on our soap box and preaching that ours is the right and only way – preaching abstinence only would be doing that, and the current contraception only message is certainly this in the other direction. Offering both abstinence and contraception in education is presenting both sides to the issue, and not standing on a soap box at all.

  9. Mats Says:

    It’s amazing to see how God’s Morality is still the best, not only in psychological terms, but in medical terms also.

    God is Great.

  10. X-rated Says:

    I was delighted with how you presented this blog. I will certainly share it to my social profiles. Thanks for your effort in {writing this content.

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