The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been a global unprecedented health threat. Besides the myriad of effects on public health, the psychosocial implications of the outbreak have been far-fetched. Though the increased prevalence of psychiatric disorders, reduced access to care and social vulnerabilities have been highlighted in literature, the immense impact on sexuality and psychosexual health tends to be silent. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity.” Sexual practices and intimacy have been influenced by more ways than one, namely fear of infection, ambiguity about viral spread, misinformation, physical distancing, travel restrictions, intimate partner violence and deprivation of ‘social touch’. The frontline workers, socio-economically impoverished groups, age and sexual minorities are especially affected. Sexual and reproductive rights are compromised due to reduced help-seeking, panic and stigma related to the outbreak. Psychological resilience helps one navigate through stressful situations and assumes a special importance during the ongoing crisis. This chapter reviews the multi-faceted intersections between sexual health and resilience, highlights the possible roles of pandemic-related uncertainty and advocates for certain guidelines to promote and preserve healthy expressions of sexuality for coping during COVID-19.
Part of the book: Anxiety, Uncertainty, and Resilience During the Pandemic Period