Attachment and Sexuality: Impact of Confinement by COVID-19

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    This study examined attachment style and its relationship with sexual self-esteem during COVID-19 confinement. COVID-19 has caused changes in the way couples interact intimately and sexually around the world; some have found improvements and others an increase in difficulties. This article uses a retrospective pre post approach to evaluate 120 men and 89 women who were part of a couple at the time of confinement in Spain and completed an online survey. The sample was obtained during the de-escalation months, from May 9th until July 1st, 2020. Through an online survey we collected the data using the Spanish version of the Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR-S) to measure attachment and the Brief Sexuality Scale (SS) to measure aspects related to the participants sexuality (sexual self-esteem, sexual depression, and sexual preoccupation), as well as a scale designed post hoc on other aspects related to sexuality. Overall, the t-test results suggest that confinement had a negative effect on sexuality because sexual depression (SD) had a small increased in our sample. Multiple regression analysis showed that FSI, and ANXS attachment style were able to predict sexual depression during confinement. The results also showed a decrease in the strength of the relationship between sexual self-esteem (SSE) and attachment styles during confinement. However, sexual preoccupation (SP) and sexual self-esteem (SSE) remained relatively stable. Based on the results obtained, we conclude that there is an association between an increase in participants' sexual depression and being confined due to COVID-19.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSexuality and Culture
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


    • Attachment
    • COVID-19
    • Intimacy
    • Sexual self-esteem
    • Sexuality


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