Poor mental health and casual sex contribute to each other over time among teen and young adults, a new study published in the Journal of Sex finds. Researchers at Ohio State University found that teens who showed symptoms of being depressed were more likely than others to have casual sex. It also discovered an inverse correlation: that those who had casual sex were more likely to be depressed later on.
“There’s always been a question about which one is the cause and which is the effect. This study provides evidence that poor mental health can lead to casual sex, but also that casual sex leads to additional declines in mental health.” said Sara Sandberg-Thoma, lead author of the study.