Just when you think you’ve heard everything, something unexpected pops up to surprise you. This latest surprise is related to sexual intimacy and how it may positively affect and reverse depression symptoms in women.
A study led by Professor Gordon Gallup of the University of Albany has found that women who didn’t use condoms during their sexual intercourse rated lower on signs of depression.
After surveying around 300 women regarding their sexual activity and whether or not they use condoms, the results from the study yielded some very intriguing information:
Women who reported to not use condoms in their sexual intercourses rated significantly lower on the Beck Depression Index (BDI), compared to those that did. The BDI is a widely used survey which measures individual differences in symptoms of depression.
The researchers didn’t only focus on condom use. They included variables such as the frequency of sexual intercourse, the relationship status of the participants, and the use of other contraceptives.
Their finds, however, led to the conclusion that condom use accounted for a greater likelihood of depressive symptoms than any other variable measured.
There are still many questions left to be answered, such as how exactly the use of condoms correlates to the increase in depressive symptoms. One speculation is that the absorption of semen through the vagina may influence the mood of the woman.
However, as Professor Gallup warns, these findings should not be used as an excuse for irresponsible behavior. He notes that the study doesn’t advocate the idea that condoms should not be used. “Protecting oneself from an unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease is far more important,” he concludes.