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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Study: Sexually Active Teens Suffer More Depression

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2008 Sep 23
  • Comments

The British Daily Mail reports on a new 38-page study done using U.S. government-funded National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, based at the University of North Carolina, which found that sexually active teen girls are twice as likely to suffer from depression than those who maintain their virginity.

The study involved more than 14,000 adolescents aged between 14 and 17.

It found that having sex apparently doubled the chances of girls becoming depressed, with 19 per cent of those who had sex exhibiting major symptoms of depression, compared with 9.2 per cent who had not had sex.

Source: Dakota Voice
http://www.dakotavoice.com/2008/09/study-sexually-active-teens-suffer-more.html

I believe this study reflects the reality that generally, adolescents' emotions are not sufficiently mature enough to handle the intimacy issues generated by sexual activity. Most teen romantic relationships don't survive. Throw sexual intimacy into this mix, and when the break up happens, emotional trauma ensues. I've seen this happen repeatedly over the course of my youth ministry years. Typically, I've seen the emotional trauma and depression most evident in girls. This isn't to say that boys aren't affected, but just that girls tend to demonstrate the affects more than guys.

Outside of the spiritual dynamics at play, namely that God has designed sexuality to be expressed within marriage, the damaging emotional affects of sex before marriage is a very practical reason why it is an unhealthy choice.

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