Yikes: Depression and Casual Sex Are Linked for College Women

by Gena Kaufman

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Unfortunate news for single young women: According to new research studying female undergraduates, those who have more casual flings and sexual partners may be more likely to suffer from depression. They are also more likely to be sexually victimized and to contract STIs. By contract, sex in the context of relationships as opposed to casual hookups was not correlated with depression (although it is still linked to STIs.)

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Before anyone uses this as an unnecessary scare tactic, it should be noted that the study shows a correlation between the two, not necessarily a causation. We can't assume that sex causes depression, or alternatively, that depression causes people to have more sex. Especially when you consider the complicated social implications of having sex, especially for young women.

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In better news, although sex and depression were linked during early college years, the correlation did not predict future depression. Let's consider this study on college women to be more of a reminder for everyone that whether you're single or coupled up, sexually active or celibate: Be safe and take care of your mental health too, ladies.

Have you ever noticed a change in your mental health as related to your sex life? Were you single or in a relationship for your college years?

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