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 www.pregnantandworried.org.nz or call 0800 3675433.

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