ABSTRACT. The aim of this systematic review is to synthesize and analyze existing evidence on the impact of COVID-19-related stress, anxiety, and depression on sexual health. With increasing evidence of psychological distress as a result of COVID-19-related confinement, physical distancing, and social isolation, there is an essential demand for comprehending whether diminished incidence of social and sexual connections has resulted in unsatisfactory mental health outcomes. In this research, prior findings were cumulated indicating that COVID-19 lockdown measures have negatively affected sexual health and behaviors. I carried out a quantitative literature review of ProQuest, Scopus, and the Web of Science throughout June 2021, with search terms including “sexual activity + COVID-19,” “sexual health + COVID-19,” “sexual behavior + COVID-19,” “sexual life + COVID-19,” and “sexual desire + COVID-19.” As I analyzed research published between 2020 and 2021, only 379 papers met the eligibility criteria. By removing controversial or unclear findings (scanty/unimportant data), results unsupported by replication, undetailed content, or papers having quite similar titles, I decided on 22, chiefly empirical, sources. Subsequent analyses should develop on intimate relationships, family functions, and sexual behavior of partners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future research should thus investigate how COVID-19-related confinement, physical distancing, and social isolation have impacted sexual health. Attention should be directed to sexual health and behaviors associated with COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Keywords: COVID-19; stress; anxiety; depression; sexual; health

How to cite: Barnes, R. (2021). “The Impact of COVID-19-related Stress, Anxiety, and Depression on Sexual Health,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 11(2): 73–86. doi: 10.22381/JRGS11220215.

Received 19 July 2021 • Received in revised form 23 December 2021
Accepted 25 December 2021 • Available online 30 December 2021

Robin Barnes
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Real-Time Clinical Monitoring Laboratory
at ISBDA, Tucson, AZ, USA

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