Evaluation of Sexual Function According to Gender and Sexual Orientation during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Turkey: A National Online Survey Study

Ardıl Bayram ŞAHİN,Emiralp BÜYÜKTOPCU,Raşit TÜKEL
2024 35(1): 56-62
DOI: 10.5080/u26948
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Objective: Coronavirus Diseases-19 (COVID-19) pandemic that has
caused the death of thousands of people affected negatively not only
people’s physical wellbeing but also their mental health. The aim of this
study was to evaluate the sexual function, depression, anxiety and stress,
and fear of COVID-19 of individuals according to gender and sexual
orientation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Method: The questionnaire form included sociodemographic data form,
the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX), the Depression, Anxiety
and Stress Scale-Short Form (DASS-21), and the Fear of COVID-19
Scale (FCV-19S). The form was distributed on social media platforms.
Results: 1593 sexually active participants were included in the study.
47.5% of the participants were females and 52.5% were males. 86.9%
of them were heterosexuals and 13.1% were lesbian, gay, and bisexual
(LGB) individuals. ASEX, DASS-21 Depression, Anxiety, and Stress,
and FCV-19S scores were significantly higher in females than males
(p<0.001). When anxiety, depression, stress, and fear of COVID-19
were controlled, level of sexual dysfunction continued to be higher
in women. We found that while the ASEX and FCV-19S scores were
similar between the heterosexuals and LGBs (respectively p=0.66 and
p=0.31), the DASS-21 Depression, Anxiety, and Stress scores were
higher in LGBs (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Our results reveal the effect of the pandemic period on
female sexual functions and the importance of addressing this topic in
clinical practice and research.
Keywords: Sexual Dysfunction, Mental Health, Gender, Sexual
Orientation, COVID-19