Teenage Girls Who Have Sex 'Face High Risk of Depression'

Article excerpt

Byline: Colin Fernandez

SEXUALLY-active teenage girls are more likely to suffer from guilt, low self-esteem and depression, a study has found.

The research showed these problems were directly related to having sex rather than the result of influences such as family issues.

It found that having sex doubled the chance of girls becoming depressed, with 19 per cent of those who had sex showing major symptoms of depression.

This compared to 9.2 per cent of girls who did not have sex.

The mental health of boys did not depend on whether they were sexually active.

Around 14,000 girls aged 14 to 17 were studied by academics at the University of North Carolina.

Their report follows research by the American Psychological Association that warned portraying young women as sex objects in the media damaged the mental and physical health of young girls.

Dr Trevor Stammers, chairman of the Christian Medical Fellowship and a lecturer on sexual ethics, said of the study: 'For girls, depression, regret and shame are very common. …