Teens That Have Casual Sex Three Times as Likely to Be Depressed

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

Depression and teen sex has been a correlation for a long time now, but a new study suggests all sex isn’t bad for a teen’s emotional state — only casual sex.

The study, coming out of Cornell, is one of the first to look at the context surrounding teenage sex lives instead of painting them all with the same broad strokes.

Jane Mendle, the study’s lead researcher, found teens who were having sex within committed, healthy relationships showed no elevated risks for depression compared with teens who weren’t having sex, but sexually active teens who were simply hooking up showed three times the chance of suffering from depression.


“The younger the teen having casual sex,

the more likely they’d experience depression.”

Overall, the younger the teen having casual sex, the more likely they’d experience depression, though gender didn’t play a role in these findings, as both males and females suffered depression at the same levels.

Environmental and genetic factors were also ruled out because Mendle looked at data collected from sibling pairs.

However, Mendle noted her study couldn’t determine whether casual sex itself caused the depressive behavior or whether depression leads to casual sex among teens.

Even so, Mendle surmised her study suggested “adolescent dating and sexuality can be viewed as normal developmental behavior.”

Source: Medical Express. Photo source:

Advertiser Disclosure is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.