Sexually active girls get depressed more than virgins

Young girls who are sexually active are far more likely to suffer from depression than those who remain virgins, according to a controversial study. Academics found that teenage sex leaves many girls with feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. (Snip) The study also found that the mental health of boys in the same age group did not correlate with sexually active.,22049,24380096-5006007,00.html

This research was published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Health Economics. The study’s title is:
"The effect of adolescent virginity status on psychological well-being"
Joseph J. Sabia and Daniel I. Rees are the researchers.

Here is the study’s abstract:

Although previous research has found that sexually active teens are more likely to suffer from depression, it is not clear whether this association is causal or spurious in nature. This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine whether virginity status affects self-esteem and depression. For males, fixed effects and instrumental variables (IV) estimates provide little evidence that sex is causally related to psychological well-being. In contrast, IV estimates indicate that sexually active female adolescents are at increased risk of exhibiting the symptoms of depression relative to their counterparts who are not sexually active. Comparing the psychological well-being of females who used contraception at last intercourse with that of virgins suggests that these effects may be ameliorated, but not eliminated, by contraceptive use.

It could be the depressed girls are more likely to engage in sexual activity, as opposed to the sexual activity causing the depression. A search for serotonin?

My personal opinion is that sexually active gals are really looking for love in all of the wrong places which means…they think if they have sex with a guy the guy will fall in love with them. When they find out that the guy is only interested in sex… then they get depressed and move on to another guy. They never learn that sex is not the answer to falling in love.

I think it is really nice for a catholic girl to say to a boy that they don’t plan to have sex until after they get married.
The lusty boys move on to pollinate the easy girls. They lie to the girls that they love them. The girls believe them and then get dumped. THAT WOULD DEPRESS ME TOO. It is very normal to become depressed when a man fools a woman just to get sex from them. They break the girl’s dream of hopefully getting married and living happyly ever after. It’s the princess dream.

Too many young girls today are having sex thinking they will find the right man for them to marry. Instead… most of them end up getting pregnant and become single parents at an early age.

I used to know a 22yr.old girl who was a strong Catholic but didn’t have the experience of dating guys. She told me she invited a guy to her apartment and he misunderstood that it was just a friendly invitation for coffee. He got frissky with her and she told him to leave. He did. I advised her not to invited guys to her apt any more because that makes the guy think that she wants to have sex with him. Hopefully she listened to my advise.

I was a virgin before I got married and I was truly depressed due to having lousy parents who verbally abused me.
I married a nice boy at 19yrs. old to get away from my parents and I still stayed depressed.
I am a mature gal now and I still suffer from depression and have to take medication and go for therapy. I guess I was born depressed. God has been really good to me and I have faith in God who keeps me safe. I am lucky that God is always with me.

You may have a point, after all, these studies typically measure correlation, not causation. On the other hand, I would argue that the opposite holds true for married girls. When my wife is depressed, that is the last place she looks for serotonin.

I hope and pray your wife has seen a doctor about her depression. It is a serious problem that needs medical attention.

I get depressed sometimes. I know when I am depressed… I start to cry for any unknown reason…and other times I have a good reason to be depressed.

When I get seriously depressed I take my medication prescribed by my doctor. I also go for therapy to talk to an expert on depression.

Many people have a depression problem and they need to see a doctor to find out what is causing the depression. It is a medical problem.

People who are not depressed will say,“Snap out of it”. My answer is…“I would if I could”. That is what my doctor told me to tell people who don’t understand what it is like to be depressed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit