July 15th, 2003


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12:47 pm - on teen sex and death...
So the news just did a story explaining that having sex caused you to commit suicide, especially if you were a girl. so according to the news, 14% of sexually active teenaged have attempted suicide as compared to only 5% of non-active girls. Furthermore, they state that 25% of sexually active girls show signs of depression as compared to only 8% of all girls. They didn't say what the stats were for boys at all, and they didn't explain any reason they think there is a correlation at all. This is something else that I might be inspired to write a hostility essay about, but I can't think of anything I might want to say about it. So I'm curious as to whether anyone else buys into this at all or not. Does it makes sense or is it a load of crap? Why or why not?

EDIT: Several people have asked if the news story implied causation or just correlation. They implied causation. Their thesis being that teenaged girls with rampant hormones take sex too seriously. So for instance: a 15-year-old girl may date a boy and sleep with him. Then when they break up, she'll be so distraught that she'll try to kill herself.

Current Mood: [mood icon] curious

(37 comments | Leave a comment)

 
on teen sex and death... - graffiti.maverick

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Comments:


From: (Anonymous) Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:03 am (Link)

Correlation != Caustation

If the first people who hand their exams in do well that does not mean that giving everyone else less time will increase their scores.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:09 am (Link)

Re: Correlation != Caustation

ummm... huh? I don't disagree, but I don't get the relevance... and who is this?
[User Picture]From: anisodragnfly Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:20 am (Link)

Re: Correlation != Caustation

the point is that just because two events are correlated doesn't mean you know which causes which, or if there is even a causal relation.
From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:34 am (Link)

Re: Correlation != Caustation

[User Picture]From: nowishere Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:19 am (Link)
As has been repeatedly pointed out, correlation does not imply causation, but there's only a problem if they're actually reporting, as you said, that "having sex causes you to commit suicide." Obviously, that would be a ridiculous claim to make from such statistics (what were the ages of the girls, btw? and/or, do you have a link to the article?).

The correlation makes plenty of sense (heh, I just typed "sex" there first) though, I think, but it's hard to say whether having sex early and committing suicide are both symptoms of low self esteem, or whether having sex early tends to induce/magnify low self-esteem and thereby lead to depression/suicide. So my theory involvels low self-esteem, either as mediator, or shared cause. Of course, others might have other theories to explain the correlation, and I bet the stats would be really different among girls of the same ages but in different countries/cultures. But obviously no theories like these (except the cross-cultural one) can be verified by statistics like the ones you/they report either.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:41 am (Link)
they did say there was causation (see edit)... and yeah, I agree with the stuff you said, but the news didn't mention any of this...
[User Picture]From: jacquez Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:20 am (Link)
I think that it would be a mistake to infer causality from that correlation (if the correlation even exists).

A lot of girls who have sex young do so because there is lots of fucked up shit in their lives, and that is part of how they express the fucked-upedness. And people with lots of fucked up shit in their lives tend to commit suicide more often than people who have pretty sweet lives.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:43 am (Link)
right, like I said to Gina (above), I agree but what really got me is that they said it was more a problem in girls than in boys (but gave no evidence to back that up), and they very specific in saying that the sex (or rather the associated feelings) are what caused the suicidal depression.
[User Picture]From: wooble Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:02 am (Link)
From your original entry, you said they didn't mention stats for boys. It's probably not because they think boys are not affected, but because the study did not study boys and thus they don't have data to report.
From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:09 am (Link)
From: marmal8 Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:18 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:22 am (Link)
From: marmal8 Date: July 15th, 2003 - 12:28 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 12:39 pm (Link)
From: mamarayne Date: July 15th, 2003 - 01:35 pm (Link)
From: marmal8 Date: July 15th, 2003 - 01:42 pm (Link)
From: mamarayne Date: July 15th, 2003 - 02:16 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 02:34 pm (Link)
From: marmal8 Date: July 15th, 2003 - 07:14 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 02:29 pm (Link)
From: mamarayne Date: July 15th, 2003 - 02:44 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 02:46 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: wooble Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:28 am (Link)
Umm, they think there's a correlation because they read a study with statistics that show a correlation?

Well, unless you're watching Fox News, in which case they probably just made up the whole thing because the Christian Coalition told them to.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 10:44 am (Link)
yeah, I understand why they said there was a correlation... I was more inquiring about people's views on their theories of the cause... maybe I should have worded that better...

---

No, it was NBC news...
[User Picture]From: beststephi Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:02 am (Link)
My stats prof always said "No causation without manipulation", so to show the relationship was causal, we'd have to get a set of girls, have Johnny Depp seduce half of them, break up with half of those he seduced, and see which group kills themselves. (no wise cracks about Johnny Depp, please.)
[User Picture]From: anisodragnfly Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:10 am (Link)
asking Mav not to crack wise is like asking the sun not to shine...
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:12 am (Link)
who me?
[User Picture]From: anisodragnfly Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:13 am (Link)
except this is Pittsburgh, so that's a bad simile. it's like... asking the earth to stop turning.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:11 am (Link)
well then why even mention Depp? I mean, he'd pollute the survey. Girls might just as well kill themselves because they thought they were so horrid that they turned him gay. Much better to have them seduced by Grieco.
From: beststephi Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:22 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 11:24 am (Link)
From: kochansky Date: July 15th, 2003 - 12:44 pm (Link)

Uh...

From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 12:56 pm (Link)

Re: Uh...

From: danitapgh Date: July 15th, 2003 - 01:08 pm (Link)

Re: Uh...

From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 02:23 pm (Link)

Re: Uh...

From: wooble Date: July 15th, 2003 - 02:50 pm (Link)

Re: Uh...

From: chrismaverick Date: July 15th, 2003 - 02:56 pm (Link)

Re: Uh...

 

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