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This study says the covid-19 pandemic has changed people’s sexual behaviour

Updated on:22 June 2020, 11:43am IST
Covid-19 has not just impacted our mental well-being but now it is also affecting our sex drive. This is what one American research has to say about it.
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Blame it on covid stress, but the pandemic is messing with our sexual needs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Covid-19 has impacted us in many ways. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and also sexually. Not only are we, as “covidians”, not having as much sex as we were before the pandemic hit, but we’re also not masturbating. 

A study published in the preprint repository medRxiv says that one in five adults in the United States had experienced a change—mostly a decrease—in their sexual behaviour during the early months of the covid-19 pandemic. 

People’s sex lives were hit hard in the first month of lockdown itself
The study has witnessed major changes in the behavioural pattern amongst participants. Some of them were showing a surge while others were exhibiting a decreasing libido.

The study examined changes in solo and partnered sexual behaviours from about mid-March to mid-April in an effort to learn more about Americans’ sex lives and relationships during the first month of social distancing.

UTI from sex
Covid-19 is impacting your sex drive. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Our data illustrate the very personal ways in which different pandemic-associated factors may create or inhibit opportunities for solo and partnered sex,” said study co-author Devon Hensel from the Indiana University in the US.

Across all the 10 behaviours studied, 50% of participants reported no change or stability in their sexual behaviours over in the period under survey.

Researchers say that the participants reporting an increase in sexual behaviour, the most common increases were hugging, kissing, cuddling or holding hands with a partner. Interestingly, those reporting decreases mentioned the same sexual behaviours — hugging, kissing, cuddling, or holding hands.

The study found that participants with any children at home under the age of five were three times more likely to report increased hugging, kissing, cuddling, or holding hands with a partner in the period under survey, while having elementary-aged children was often linked to decreased reports of these sexual behaviours. But mostly these are family cuddles according to researchers.

Mental health has also been hit majorly by covid-19
There have been multiple studies which illustrate that covid-19 has also created a mental health pandemic. In a recent study by the global medical journal Lancet it was found that the chances of being physically unwell with covid-19 were quite low. In comparison, however, the number of people reporting mental illnesses was much higher.

Not just that but according to an analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, even after lockdown restrictions are over people were facing the brunt of mental unrest. 

impact of covid-19 on mental health
Covid-19 will come and haunt you even when it’s all over. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

This study has also found the same. It found that depressive symptoms and loneliness were associated with both reduced partnered bonding behaviours, such as hugging, cuddling, holding hands, and kissing, as well as reduced partnered sexual behaviours.

The researchers said these mental health factors could be attributed to social distancing measures, which, while necessary, can exacerbate feelings of depression and loneliness for some people.

“This study is a reminder that pandemics impact every aspect of the human experience, including sexuality,” Hensel wrote.

So, even if you are stuck at home it is really important to talk to your partner, spend time with them, and spare some moments so that your sex drive doesn’t go for a toss when all this is over.

(With inputs from IANS)

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