Teen sex, suicide and SIECUS

It’s been known for years that sexual activity outside marriage cannot succeed in expressing love in a way that measures up to the meanings implicit in the act itself. “This is bigger than both of us” is an overwhelming but deceitful fantasy unless the activity helps constitute something objective and permanent that does not depend on the temporary feelings and interests of the parties. In case you were wondering, that means marriage as traditionally conceived.

It is because something essential is so obviously missing from sex that is divorced from marriage that slang expressions for sexual intercourse have come to mean “abuse,” “disorder totally,” “make useless” and the like. So it shouldn’t be surprising that teen sex and radically increased rates of depression and suicide are so closely associated. It shouldn’t be surprising, that is, unless you belong to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). In that case you, like Tamara Kreinin in the linked story, will attempt to explain away moral issues in favor of things that can be more easily manipulated by the policymakers and therapists of SIECUS.

6 thoughts on “Teen sex, suicide and SIECUS”

  1. [I recovered the following
    [I recovered the following series of comments after a computer problem:]


    I dont see the tendency for depression/suicide and teen sex having so strong a link. I think most of the depression seen in teens is caused by want of unattainable standards in beauty, intelligence and fitness that is demanded by the modern society. A graph of Nations’ suicide rates vs teen pregnancy rates may illustrate this point. I just dont feel that this assertion is correct based on my own experiences.

    Posted by: Stephen at June 4, 2003 08:45 PM

    It seems to me that pictures of supermodels will only make a teenaged girl depressed and suicidal if her relations to the people around her and especially to her parents and the opposite sex aren’t in good shape. And teen sex is something that screws up [note the turn of phrase] those relations big time. So your explanation and mine aren’t necessarily at odds.

    I agree that a graph of suicide rates and teen sex (not pregnancy) rates would be illuminating or at least give us all something to think about.

    Posted by: Jim Kalb at June 4, 2003 09:08 PM

    Gathering data on teen sex would involve I would guess, the standard surveys in schools, which as I remember from taking one as a teenager, are heavily lied on. This is because the participants want to appear I’d say for males, Masculine and sexually experienced and for females not promiscuous, as perceived social standing is important among teenagers, of course teenagers being rebellious are not trusting of state surveys being anonymous and thus leads them to lying on them. Teen pregnancy rates are indeed a bad measure of teen sex too on hindsight because of different levels of sex education/contraceptive use among the young in different areas and also different fertility levels among populations.

    I would speculate that other modern pressures do contribute to suicide more then teen sex though such as I feel a general nihilistic tendency among young men which leads them to have a much higher depression rate. A gender and age analysis would be kind of interesting too see where the depression problem peaks in age, this may be useful in determining the maximum pressure exertion of the main problem be it this teen sex problem which I would say would be a mini-spike on a graph compared to the larger factors of cultural implosion and lack of values that is the main issue I think in relation to depression and suicide. Interestingly the health minister in Ireland was condemned by religious and lefty groups recently for insensitivity that he said suiciders were selfish and thoughtless about their actions and the damage they cause to their families.

    Posted by: Stephen at June 5, 2003 04:50 AM

    Agreed that it’s always hard to find out what’s going on as to sex, and also that teen sex can’t be viewed as the main cause of teen depression and suicide. It’s part of a mass of problems mostly having to do with weakening connections among people and nihilism. I suppose what I’d say is that teen sex both results from and contributes to that mass of problems.

    Posted by: Jim Kalb at June 5, 2003 06:42 AM

  2. Teen sexual activity only
    Teen sexual activity only has any connection to suicide and depression for teens who do not have adequate sex education. Teens who know that sex is a normal part of life do not feel guilty about it and don’t feel depressed by it.

    In fact, the single biggest correlate to suicide among teens is coming from a fundamentalist religious background. Teens from such backgrounds, whether or not they are sexually active, have a much higher suicide rate. In the U.S., the highest teen suicide rates are among Southern Baptists, Mormons, and Pentecostals. It is also notable that teens who receive abstinence-only “education” are more likely to become pregnant and to catch sexually transmitted diseases. Teens with comprehensive sex education understand sex and relationships better and know how to protect themselves.

  3. Do you have any links or
    Do you have any links or citations you have in support of your statements? They would help.

    The stuff I see seems to agree that comprehensive sex ed doesn’t have any particular benefits. See the Atlantic Monthly article at http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/family/failure.htm , for example. And since teen suicide rates have gone up along with social liberalism in recent decades an association with fundamentalism would be interesting if true. On the general topic of religion, social authority and childhood well-being Hardwired to Connect seems illuminating: http://www.americanvalues.org/html/hardwired.html .

  4. The commentator might stop
    The commentator might stop to reflect that his expression was (and is) based on an impolite profanity. Only in the last decade has it become widely accepted. It is paradoxically even spoken by women.


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