Emotional Consequences of Sexuality Among Minors

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When it comes to underage sex, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) are the major dangers that often get highlighted. This explains why many adolescents know a lot about contraceptives and the symptoms that come with being pregnant or having an STI.

Sadly, not enough attention is given to establishing the dangers to the mental health of sexually-active minors. While they may avoid getting pregnant or contracting an STI, many emotional perils may arise from their involvement in sexual activity.

Read on to learn about the emotional consequences of underage sexual activity.

Regret

Many adolescents admit to feeling instant regret after engaging in premature sex. Some girls are quick to say yes to having sex with a boy they like. Later on, they become devasted when they learn that their crush has no feelings for them or that they like some other girls too. This kind of scenario not only makes them regret getting intimate but it may also make them get stressed over losing the boy.

Guilt

Feelings of guilt can easily wash over a minor, especially when they have casual sex. Whether they had sex due to peer pressure or out of curiosity, it haunts a teen when they know deep down that they did something morally wrong.

According to an article on the emotional dangers of premature involvement in sex, guilt is a positive indication that the teen in question has a conscience and that they realize their mistake. (See Thomas Lickona. 10 Emotional Dangers of Premature Sexual Involvement. The Fourth and Fifth Rs. Vol. 13, Issue 2. Fall 2007.)

Loss of Self-Confidence

If a minor finds out that they’re straying from their family’s values or have contracted an STI, they may blame themselves for not being careful enough to avoid the predicament. They may feel embarrassed about the situation and even avoid interacting with others. At this point, they may lose their self-confidence and self-esteem. By the time they discover that they need help, they may be in a rut that’s difficult to break free from.

Apprehension

Teens experience an incredible amount of worry when they engage in sex. This is because there’s always a risk that they may get pregnant or contract an STI when they engage in unprotected sex. Following engagement in sexual activity, they may experience days or even weeks of immense anxiety as they watch out for symptoms of pregnancy or disease. This wastes precious time that could have been spent concentrating on their studies or in other positive, uplifting experiences.

Fear of Commitment

When a relationship between two minors ends in a break-up, abuse, or violence, they may feel apprehensive about getting into another committed relationship. This fear may very well follow them into adulthood.

Depression and Suicide

While some teens may move on swiftly after breaking up with their sexual partner, others do not handle the situation as casually. As horrid as it sounds, it’s not uncommon to see teens falling into depression or even contemplating suicide as a result of a breakup.

Slow Personal Development

Personal development has a lot to do with being able to socialize and build meaningful relationships that are not sexual. Generally speaking, girls tend to be better at hiding insecurities from previous sexual relationships than boys. As a result, they struggle more with personal development than boys. Their failure to develop a personal identity may cause them to develop codependencies, like turning to over-eating, drugs, or other unhealthy habits, in a misguided and doomed attempt to feel better.

Premature Sex Can Have Negative Psychological Effects on Teens

The emotional dangers of premature sex among minors are real and ongoing. Having sexual relationships may appear to be a casual thing for teens at first, but after some time, they may realize that these relationships can take a negative toll on their emotional well-being. Very few teen relationships end up in marriage. Most of them barely last more than a year, yet the emotional consequences can take years to fade out. When minors are aware of the emotional dangers of engaging in sex, they’ll be better equipped to deal with such dangers when they arise. Today’s minors are tomorrow’s adults, so it’s important to help them manage their emotions properly.