Women fight depression with sex, says new report


Melbourne: Depressed women are likely to have more sex than those who are happier because it helps them to fight feelings of inadequacy, a new study has revealed.

Researchers in Australia have found that females who suffer from mild to moderate depression indulge in more sexual activity than those who are not, regardless of whether they are in a relationship or not.

Moreover, depressed women have more sexually liberated attitudes, a variety of sexual experiences and, if single, are more likely to go for casual sex, according to the study.

Lead researcher Dr Sabura Allen said: “When people are depressed they feel more insecure about their relationships and concerned that their partner may not care about them or find them valuable. Having sex helps them feel that closeness and security.

“It was more sex and more of everything from kissing to petting, foreplay and intercourse. We knew this anecdotally from clinical samples but this is the first time it’s been shown in research.”

Dr Allen and her colleagues at the Melbourne Monash University came to the conclusion after they analysed the sexual experiences of 107 depressed and non-depressed women who were in relationships.

Dr Allen said that Australian couples “tend to have sex between once and three times a week”, with “very much the majority in the once a week group”. “Single women have it significantly less, but the same is not necessarily true in the case of single men.”

However, the researchers are not sure whether sexual intercourse could be an effective balm for depression. “We really don’t know but we presume it helps as it gives these women opportunities to be close to their partner and loved.”