Sex, Depression and the College of Surgeons

There has been a bit of a brouhaha in the scientific community recently because a very prominent doctor was asked to resign from the his leadership post at the American College of Surgeons after posting a Valentine’s Day column. What did he say that was so controversial?

Women who have unprotected sex were less likely to experience depression because semen itself acts as a natural anti-depressant.

In the midst of the controversy, the authors of the 2002 study to which he was referring have come out in support of his comments. Defending the original study, as well as the research that they have conducted since then, they said,

“There is growing evidence that human semen has the potential to produce profound effects on women.  We have replicated the effects showing female college students having sex without condoms are less depressed as measured by objective scores on the Beck Depression Inventory.  We’ve also examined the data as a function of whether the students were using hormonal contraceptives, whether they were in committed relationships, and how long these relationships have lasted.  The anti-depressant properties of semen exposure do not vary as function of any of these conditions.  It is not a question of whether females are sexually active, since students having sex with condoms show the same level of depression as those who are not having sex at all.  We have also received numerous semen testimonials from other women who attest to the anti-depressant effects of semen exposure and these accounts often include the use of control trials (i.e., comparisons generated by switching from condoms to unprotected sex, or vice a versa).”

Check out the full article here,  and tell me what you think. Should the doctor been asked to resign?