Publication date: Nov 28, 2023
Objective: To understand changes in romantic and sexual behavior among college and graduate students in North Carolina during COVID-19. Participants: Participants were between 18-30 years old and enrolled in a two- or four-year college or graduate program in North Carolina (n = 926). Methods: A cross-sectional web-based survey was administered to college and graduate students to assess romantic and sexual behavioral changes during COVID-19. Results: Participants continued to engage in in-person sexual intercourse during COVID-19 and reported an increase in online and virtual dating. Although the majority of participants reported following COVID-19 guidelines, they did not frequently use risk mitigation strategies such as declining kissing or sex due to COVID-19 concerns, inquiring about recent COVID-19 tests, or having sexual contact without kissing. Conclusion: Study findings suggest a need for colleges and universities to help students manage COVID-19 prevention in intimate relationships.