Partner Seeking and Sexual Behavior in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic, March 2020 to March 2021

Sex Transm Dis. 2022 Apr 1;49(4):e57-e60. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001582.


We examined partner seeking and sexual behaviors among a representative sample of US adults (n = 1161) during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 10% of survey respondents sought a new partner, with age and sexual identity being associated with partner seeking behavior. Approximately 7% of respondents had sex with a new partner, which marks a decrease as compared with a prepandemic estimate from 2015 to 2016 in which 16% of US adults reported having sex with a new partner during the past year. Among respondents who had in-person sex with a new partner during the first year of the pandemic, public health guidelines for in-person sexual activity were infrequently followed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology