You are currently viewing Motivation for protection in sexual relations during the COVID-19 quarantine: analysis of sociodemographic variables of the Iranian population |  BMC Public Health

Motivation for protection in sexual relations during the COVID-19 quarantine: analysis of sociodemographic variables of the Iranian population | BMC Public Health

This study aimed to determine the sexual relationship of Iranians based on protective motivation theory and its related factors during the corona prevention home quarantine. In this study, a positive and significant correlation was observed between preventive sexual behaviors during the corona period and its domains.

The present study showed that there is a statistically significant correlation between age and perceived vulnerability. The older you get, the more vulnerable you are seen and the more protective behaviors you adopt. This may be due to higher awareness and perceived threat at older ages. Older people are more prone to underlying diseases, so preventive measures are more common in older people than in younger people [21]. The present study is consistent with some studies on dangerous driving in Yazd and the study of Covid-19 disease, which show that older age is associated with more protective behaviors. [14, 22].

Nevertheless, Lowe et al. among Australian university students showed that older age was associated with less protective behavior against sunlight [23]. A possible explanation could be that the elderly are the most affected by COVID-19. Therefore, they may perceive more vulnerability and seriousness in this situation.. This is different from the findings in this article, and the reason may be differences in culture and type of protective behaviors. In general, each person has a unique understanding of experiencing a particular situation that can affect their health. The sensitivity of people to understand a situation or an illness is very diverse [24]. If people do not feel vulnerable to a health threat, they are more likely to reject suggested healthy behaviors. Therefore, perceived vulnerability may play a key role in people’s intention to adopt and maintain healthy behavior. Perceived vulnerability had a statistically significant relationship with employment status and place of residence.

The results of our study showed that people who had part-time employment status compared to full-time people and even the unemployed had a lower Covid 19 perceived susceptibility score. On the other hand, regarding resistance, the average score of perceived sensitivity of people who lived in other cities except Tehran was higher compared to people who lived in Tehran as well as people who lived in other cities outside of Tehran. exception of Tehran but whose spouses were in Tehran. This statistically significant difference may be due to the fact that Tehran, as the capital of Iran, is a city with people with different demographic characteristics and a very large number of mandatory and compulsory intercity trips. A possible explanation could be that unstable conditions seem to affect perceptions of sensitivity in protective behaviors. In other words, the type of working time (part-time employment) and non-permanent residence during the Corona pandemic created a feeling of confusion among the participants in terms of sensitivity to protective behaviors.

In this study, the domain of perceived vulnerability was most associated with preventive sexual behaviors in Corona. Consistent with the present study, Grunfeld argues that the components of threat assessment (perceived vulnerability and perceived severity) and then the components of coping assessment (perceived self-efficacy, perceived response efficacy, and perceived cost ) are strong predictors of intention to engage in protective behaviors [25]. If people find themselves vulnerable to disease, they will adopt more protective and preventive behaviors during the Corona period. These results are consistent with Moeini et al., Ezzati Rad et al. [26, 27]. Unlike the present study, Sharifi Rad considers Coping-Appraisal more than Threat-Appraisal the predictor of behavior that prevents the spread and spread of influenza A based on motivation theory [28]. Okharu et al. also reported low perceived vulnerability during the Covid-19 outbreak. This may be because the participants in this study thought they were not likely to be infected with Covid-19 and therefore had no motivation to follow prevention and quarantine principles. [29].

According to the present study, preventive sexual behaviors during the Corona period and perceived severity are positively and significantly related. Therefore, if people are aware of the consequences of this disease, they will adopt more protective behaviors. This is consistent with Ezzati Rad et al. and Tazval et al. [27, 30] but is different from Zare et al. [31]. Perceived severity depends on people’s beliefs and the mental effects of a disease or condition and its effect on their lives. These effects can be considered as problems that can cause problems for individuals. If people believe they are exposed to moderate or high risk health threats, the likelihood of engaging in healthy behaviors is greatly increased.

According to the present study, preventive sexual behaviors during the Corona period and perceived cost were positively and significantly related to each other, in line with Gong et al. [20]. If people believe that they are vulnerable to a health threat, that the health threat is serious and has serious side effects, and that the cost of health advice is not valued at all, they are more likely to engage in healthy behavior.

The present study showed that protective sex had the highest mean score in the perceived efficacy of response domain, which is consistent with the study by Sharifi Rad et al. on the prevention of influenza A and the study by Leigh et al. on Ebola and preventive behaviors against SARS, avian flu and swine flu [28, 32]. A positive correlation indicates that a person can act consistently against a health risk, which can reduce health risks, protect their health, and prevent the consequences of inappropriate behavior. Therefore, when designing educational interventions, it is essential to emphasize self-efficacy and the effectiveness of perceived responses to reduce threats. The present study also showed that protective sex had the lowest average score in the perceived self-efficacy domain, which is not consistent with various studies that have shown that self-efficacy Efficiency is a very important factor in performing health behaviors. [32,33,34]but are consistent with Morwati et al. [14]. These differences may be due to differences in the study population. A positive correlation shows that when a person seriously believes that they can reduce their health risk by engaging in healthy behavior, they behave less inconsistently and tolerate consequences. Perceived self-efficacy is individuals’ perception of their ability to engage in activities that allow them to control events that affect their lives. [12].

In the present study, protective behaviors are shown at an optimal level which is consistent with Bashirian et al. on Covid-19 protective behaviors based on protective motivation theory among hospital staff, Ezzati Rad on the prediction of Covid-19 preventive behaviors based on protective motivation [27, 35].

Several studies have reported information on the positive consequences of perceived severity and perceived vulnerability of infectious diseases on individuals’ goals to adhere to protective and preventive behaviors. [36, 37]. Significant correlations between constructs from conservation motivation theory and behavioral intention can predict general protective behaviors in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and similar future infectious disease threats. If people do not understand the threat and severity of infectious disease, they can easily ignore relevant recommendations. Overall, participants in the current study reported high levels of perceived severity, perceived vulnerability, perceived response effectiveness, and perceived costs. Consequently, they reported a high level of motivation for protective and preventive behaviors in all situations. From a practical point of view, the predictive validity of protective motivation theory has shown that infrastructures have a significant relationship with the intention of protective and preventive behavior. This finding suggests that future interventions should focus on general cognition by developing appropriate knowledge about the severity and vulnerability of Covid-19, improving perceived efficacy of response and self-efficacy of protective behavior through professional training.

Using online surveys as a primary source of data collection due to current social distancing needs may limit access to everyone in the community as it excludes people with low digital literacy or a lack of smartphones . However, many studies have reported that online questionnaires have significantly higher responses than email questionnaires and higher quality data in online surveys than email surveys. [38]. Another limitation of the study was the collection of behavior-related data through self-reports, which may have led to the assessment of biased results. Therefore, more objective examination and long-term follow-up may yield different results, and further studies are needed to measure protective behaviors. Despite the limitations, this study is the first to investigate the sexual relationships of Iranians based on protective motivation theory and its related factors during the corona prevention home quarantine on a large number of the population. Another limitation of the study was mentioned regarding the characteristics of the sample. Most participants (85.1%) were female and (90.2%) of all participants were university educated.

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