To study the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on cognitions and emotions felt during sexual intercourse by analyzing the responses of 1079 French-speaking subjects (338 men, 741 women, median age: 31 years) who participated in an online survey between April 27 and May 11, 2020.
Negative sexual cognitions (NSC), positive sexual emotions (PSE) and negative sexual emotions (NSE) are assessed using a tool inspired by the Sexual Mode Questionnaire. Data are crossed with sociodemographic indicators, information on lockdown modalities, indices on sex life, information on psychological functioning and sexual satisfaction.
One third of the participants saw a decrease in the frequency of their sexual activities or in their sexual satisfaction. Changes in NSCs were found in 74.4% of subjects (increase: 38.4%; decrease: 36%). Emotional changes are found in between 50.7% (NSC: increase: 20.2%; decrease: 30.5%) and 60.9% (PSE: increase: 24.6%; decrease: 36.3%) of participants. The effect of lockdown on NSC, NSE, and PSE depends on gender at birth, intensity of depressive symptoms, and attachment styles. Women appear to be more vulnerable to lockdown than men. Insecure or depressed subjects also appear more vulnerable. The lockdown impact also depends on changes in the frequency of physical/digital intercourse during lockdown and the modalities of confinement. Changes in NSC, NSE, and PSE had a significant effect on sexual satisfaction during lockdown.
The lockdown impact on sexual emotions and cognitions is non-negligible and greater than the impact on sexual behaviors. Whether it is positive or negative, it asks about the post-confinement repercussions: what becomes of a positive impact with deconfinement? Will the negative impacts be one-off or will vulnerabilities be expressed over the long-term?
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Sexologies. Publié par Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.