Kinsey Institute COVID-19 Research

Kinsey Institute researchers are working to investigate and document the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on our sexual and romantic lives, and long-term effects on our emotional and mental wellbeing.

Current and Upcoming Studies

Body, Mind, and COVID-19

This survey conducted by the Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium (KI-TSRC) is investigating a broad spectrum of experiences including illness, disability, sexuality, and trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Friendship and COVID-19

This online survey will examine how COVID-19 and related social distancing measures have affected people's friendships, including communicating with friends, new ways of socializing, and the role of friends during the pandemic. 

Impact of COVID-19 on Safety and Mental Health

The purpose of this study is to examine how COVID-19 and the social distancing associated with COVID-19 are impacting individuals’ safety, relationships, and mental health.

Loneliness, Well-Being, and Meaningful Digital Connections in LGBTQ+ Individuals during COVID-19

A longitudinal study on loneliness and well-being in LGBTQ+ individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic that will focus on participants’ digital interactions as conduits for meaningful connections and buffers against loneliness.

Marital Quality, Sexual Behavior and Reproductive Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The purpose of this study, conducted by the Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team (KI-CURT), is to determine how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting marital quality, sexual behavior, reproductive planning and health, and individual and family well-being.

Mental Health and Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The purpose of this study, conducted by the Kinsey Institute's Traumatic Stress Research Consortium (KI-TSRC), is to learn how a person’s history and body stress reactions impact how they cope with the danger and uncertainty of an ongoing situation, specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sex and Relationships in the Time of COVID-19

The purpose of this study is to better understand the romantic and sexual lives of adults during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

Research Publications

Kolacz, Jacek, Dale, Lourdes P., Nix, Evan J., Roath, Olivia K., Lewis, Gregory F., and Porges Stephen W. (2020). Adversity History Predicts Self-Reported Autonomic Reactivity and Mental Health in US Residents During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 1119-1129. Open access.

Lehmiller, J.L., Garcia, J.R., Gesselman, A.N., & Mark, K.P. (2020). Less sex, but more sexual diversity: Changes in sexual behavior during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Leisure Sciences.

Peterson, Z. D., Vaughan, E. L., & Carver, D. N. (2020). Sexual Identity and Psychological Reactions to COVID-19. Traumatology. Advance online publication.

Porges, S. (2020). The COVID-19 Pandemic is a Paradoxical Challenge to Our Nervous System: A Polyvagal Perspective. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 17 (2), 131-134. Open access. PDF

Selected Media Coverage of COVID-19 Research

"Anxiety over Coronavirus is normal: Here’s how to manage it." Indianapolis Star, March 26

"Can Coronavirus Be Transmitted Through Sex?" Sex &, March 17.

"Can We Make Our Sex Lives Fun Again?Wall Street Journal, Dec 8.

"Casual sex is out, companionship is in." The Economist, May 9.

"Coronavirus has changed online dating. Here’s why some say that’s a good thing." PBS News Hour, May 15.

"Cupid in Quarantine: What Brain Science Can Teach Us About Love." New York Times, April 16.

"Does Sex Really Boost Your Immune System?", April 26.

"Don't want to swipe on Tinder while in self-isolation? That's totally fine." Washington Post, April 21.

"Experts recommend taking a break from stress, trauma.", April 17.

"Expert says pandemic is a good time for singles, bad for couple." CBS Morning News, March 26.

"How coronavirus is transforming online dating and sex." MIT Technology Review, March 26.

"How has the pandemic altered dating? Survey says more roommates are hooking up." USA Today, Oct 6.

"How the Pandemic Is Changing Pornography." Psychology Today, March 23.

"If these walls could talk." Vogue, May 14.

"Imagining a First Post-Pandemic Kiss." New York Times, May 18.

"Lockdown stress puts paid to a coronavirus baby boom." Financial Times, June 2. [subscription]

"Love in the Time of COVID." IU Research Impact, April 15.

"Quarantine horniness, explained by a sex researcher.", April 8.

"Sex gets complicated during the pandemic." CNN, Sept 14.

"Sex in the Time of Coronavirus." Wall Street Journal, April 20.

"Talking physical and mental health with the Kinsey Institute's Gregory Lewis." On Topic podcast, May 2.

"The coronavirus and birth rates: What experts say about a 'once-in-a-century' situation." Indianapolis Star, April 22.

"The Coronavirus Is Changing How We Date. Experts Think the Shifts May Be Permanent." TIME, April 11.

"The Kinsey Institute Explores How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed Dating & Relationships in Fundamental Ways.", September 4.

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