New research: The impact of social lockdown on sexual desires and behaviors

New research has revealed how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected our sex lives, with changes in sexual desires and behaviours due to the lockdown restrictions. The study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, found that women showed a significant reduction in levels of sexual desire during lockdown.

The research also found that participants engaged in less sexual behaviours – including masturbation, porn, sex with a partner and using technology for sex – during lockdown, but that men reported significantly more sexual activities than women, and LGB people significantly more than heterosexuals.

Mark McCormack commented: “Our research shows that lockdown had a real impact on young adults’ sex lives and sexual desires, not least engaging in fewer sexual activities in general. It highlighted important differences according to gender and sexual orientation. For example women, lesbian, gay and bisexual young adults reported lockdown had a much greater negative impact on their sense of wellbeing which requires further attention. The de facto criminalisation of casual sex due to social restrictions has received little attention from policymakers over the past year, this will need to be addressed as we move out of lockdown and consider the consequences related to sexual health and the potential for a marked increase in casual sex over the summer this year.”

An accessible overview of the paper is availabe at The Conversation.