Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2022

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Amy Moors


For many, the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing gave people time to think about their sex lives. Previous research by Lehmiller and colleagues (2021), showed correlations between loneliness and stress with increased sexual risk taking and new sexual desires during the pandemic. In the present study, we examined the prevalence of engagement in consensual non-monogamy and multi-partnered sex during the COVID-19 pandemic taking into account sociodemographic factors and living arrangements. We analyzed data from a national sample of people who are currently single in the U.S. as part of The Kinsey Institute’s annual Singles in America study (N = 3,622; 60.7% identified as women; 39.3% identified as men; 88% identified as heterosexual/straight people; 12% identified as lesbian/gay/bisexual). Data were collected in June-August in 2021 when vaccinates were widely available in the U.S. We found that a small, but sizable proportion of single people engaged in diverse types of multi-partnered relationships and sexual acts during the pandemic. Specifically, 8.1% of single Americans indicated that they had engaged in a consensually non-monogamous relationship during the pandemic followed by 3.8% and 3.1% who indicated that they had a threesome or group sex, respectively. Men and sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, and bisexual people) were more likely to have engaged in consensual non-monogamy and multi-partner sex during the pandemic than women and heterosexual people, respectively (Brange: 0.53-0.89, pvalues < 0.01). Associations between living arrangements and desire for socializing will also be discussed as individual difference factors. These data suggest that engagement in consensual non-monogamy and multi-partnerd sex during the COVID-19 pandemic is more prevalent than some people may expect.


Presented at the Spring 2022 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.