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The Effect of COVID-19 in a Diverse Sample of US Adults



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Dr. Nicholas Grosskopf presents "Exploring Relations among COVID-19 Vaccination Status, Perceived Severity of COVID-19, Consumption of Online Sexually Explicit Material, and Social-Sexual Activities in a Diverse Sample of US Adults".

Literature published since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates mixed fluctuations in the consumption of sexually explicit material (SEM) in the US.  Literature assessing the relations among perceived severity of COVID-19, vaccination status, and consumption of SEM is also lacking. Data were collected via an online survey with 732 participants recruited on the Prolific platform. The study took place from December 2021-January 2022. The sample consisted of US adults and was diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, sex assigned at birth, relationship status, income, and education. While 45.4% of the sample disagreed their consumption of free SEM increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, 38% agreed, and 16.5% neither agreed nor disagreed.

On measures of perceived severity of COVID-19 and SEM guilt and sexual/social activities, significant differences were found between those who agreed and those who disagreed. Except when comparing unvaccinated and boosted participants, reporting more protection by vaccination was associated with higher levels of sexual/social activities online and in-person (p<01-p<.05). Finally, the perceived severity of COVID-19 was the highest among partially vaccinated participants (p<.01) and the lowest among unvaccinated participants (p<01). In conclusion, strengths include the recruitment of a diverse sample and data collected during the spread of an additional COVID-19 variant but with readily accessible COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Results may contribute to further understanding of the impact of the pandemic on SEM consumption and the role vaccines may play in human sexual behavior as COVID-19 becomes endemic.

Dr. Grosskopf serves as Deputy Chair of the HHP Department and is Professor & Coordinator of the York College (YC) Public Health Program. He has experience working in community health settings, specifically in program/policy planning, monitoring & evaluation with a focus on sex & sexuality. He has worked with the Bureau of HIV/AIDS at the NYCDOHMH, the NYC Department of Education, and HudsonPride (a community-based non-profit prioritizing the health of sexual/gender minorities [SGM]). He holds an affiliated appointment in the Department of Community Health & Social Sciences at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health. His scholarly interests include the intersection of health & technology, health equity/health policy implications for SGM as well as human participant research ethics as he serves as Chair of CUNY University-Integrated IRBs #1 & #3. He is also Co-Director & Co-Founder of the Collaborative Research Group on Health Policy & Promotion + the UrbanHealth Lab at YC.

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