Call for Proposals: Special Issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior on the Impact of COVID-19 on Sexual Health and Behavior

The World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic on March 11, 2020. In a short span of time, the COVID-19 pandemic mitigation measures have caused widespread social and economic disruptions to individuals, communities, and nations. These disruptions have had a significant impact on the health, safety, and well-being of individuals. To date, there is little information about the effects of COVID-19 on sexual health, and some groups may be more vulnerable to the pandemic mitigation measures, including, among others, young people, women and girls, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, refugees and migrants, the poor and uninsured, and people living with HIV. The Archives of Sexual Behavior invites proposals for a special issue on COVID-19 to highlight the impact of the pandemic on sexual health, including sexual behaviors, sexuality, sexual relationships, health care access and treatment, and sexual and reproductive rights of all individuals.

The Special Issue on the “Impact of COVID-19 on Sexual Health and Behavior” will include original papers (quantitative and qualitative), brief reports, reviews, clinical case reports, and commentaries related to the individual, interpersonal, relational, community, and societal aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual health and behavior. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Impact of COVID-19 on sexual risk behaviors, especially among groups at-risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  • Impact of COVID-19 on disruptions to sexual and reproductive health care services or care for patients living with HIV.

  • Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual and reproductive rights.

  • Impact of social and economic mitigation measures on sexual and reproductive health in all populations, including young people, women and girls, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, refugees and migrants, the poor and uninsured, and people who are living with HIV and other STIs.

  • Impact of COVID-19-related education and workplace disruptions on sexual health.

  • Effect of social distancing, isolation, and quarantining on domestic and gender-based violence and couple conflict.

  • Impact of social mitigation measures on relationships, including sexual and relational quality.

  • Impact of COVID-19 and social mitigation measures on mate choice and mate preferences, including mating strategies, infidelity, and dating behavior.

  • Impact of sexual stigma and discrimination on COVID-19 treatment and care.

  • Impact of COVID-19-related mental health and trauma on sexual health.

  • Lessons on sexual and reproductive health that we have learned from other coronaviruses such as SARS, H1N1 influenza, and Ebola, natural disasters, or terrorist events.

Proposals should include the type of article, title, list of authors, and a brief abstract (structured or unstructured) no longer than 400 words. Abstracts should consist of a statement regarding how the proposed manuscript fills a gap or expands our current understanding of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual health. The research does not need to be complete at the time of proposal submission, but the research must be completed by the manuscript deadline. For research in progress, please indicate the expected outcomes, results, and benefits of the research.

For any questions about the special issue or suitability of a manuscript topic, please contact us with questions. Our e-mail contact information is as follows: Lori Scott-Sheldon (lori_scott-sheldon@brown.edu) for topics related to sexual risk behaviors, especially among groups at-risk for HIV and other STIs, alcohol and other substance use, clinical care for patients living with HIV, and perspectives from other infectious diseases, natural disasters, or terrorist events; Kristen Mark (kristen.mark@uky.edu) for topics related to sexual functioning and reproductive health, sexual and reproductive rights, gender-based violence, mental health and trauma, and education or workplace disruptions; Rhonda Balzarini (Rbalz@yorku.ca) for topics related to sexual satisfaction and relationship quality, sexual ideals and preferences including diverse sexual orientations and relationships, economic considerations, and sexual stigma and discrimination; and Lisa Welling (welling@oakland.edu) for topics related to sexual behavior, particularly in reference to evolutionary psychology theories and hypotheses (e.g., Life History Strategy, Dual Mating Hypothesis), attraction, mate choice, and adaptive preferences. General questions about the special issue or manuscript topics that fall outside of the areas listed above can be submitted to Lori Scott-Sheldon (lori_scott-sheldon@brown.edu). Please label all correspondence with the subject line “ASEB COVID-19 and Sexual Health.”

Please submit proposals to Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon (lori_scott-sheldon@brown.edu) with the subject line “ASEB COVID-19 and Sexual Health Proposal.” Please label proposals as LASTNAME_COVID19&SexualHealth (e.g., Scott-Sheldon_COVID19&SexualHealth). Deadline for proposals: May 20, 2020. Decisions about proposals: June 20, 2020.

Full manuscripts of approved proposals can be submitted at any time. Manuscripts should be submitted via the journal’s web-based online manuscript submission and peer-review system: http://aseb.edmgr.com. Click on “Submit New Manuscript” and select article type “COVID19 and Sexual Health.” Please read the Instructions for Authors carefully prior to submission: https://www.springer.com/journal/10508/submission-guidelines. In your cover letter, please identify and provide e-mail addresses for three independent reviewers (i.e., individuals who are not connected to the authors in any way). Reviewers from different career stages, institutions, and countries are encouraged. Deadline for manuscript submissions: December 20, 2020.

Accepted manuscripts will be electronically published on the Archives website on an ongoing basis. The special issue is expected to be published in print by June 2021.

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Correspondence to Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon.

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Scott-Sheldon, L.A.J., Mark, K.P., Balzarini, R.N. et al. Call for Proposals: Special Issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior on the Impact of COVID-19 on Sexual Health and Behavior. Arch Sex Behav 49, 1393–1394 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01725-8

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