Spatial and Social Behavior of Single and Coupled Individuals of Both Sexes during COVID-19 Lockdown Regime in Russia
Testing individual motivations for social activity in violation of the mandated lockdown regime is a challenging research topic for evolutionary psychology. To this purpose, we analyzed twenty popular weekly routes and the potential impact of sex and relationship status (single versus coupled) on the reported level of spatial-social activity during the quarantine in Russia between March and June 2020 (N = 492). Our study revealed a significant difference between men’s and women’s mobility: men, in general, tend to exhibit substantially higher spatial activity. The results have shown that individuals living on their own have more social interactions with friends and exhibit more profound spatial mobility via public transport. On the other hand, spatial activity of coupled individuals of both sexes were mostly devoted to solving a list of economic and matrimonial tasks. At the same time, men already cohabiting with a partner leave their homes for dating purposes more frequently than single men and women. We interpret these findings in the sense that both individual and sex-specific differences in observed sociality could be a result of a fine-tuned adaptive populational response to a contemporary virus threat, predominantly rooted in the evolution of behavioral strategies in the reproductive and economic spheres of each sex. Indeed, unlike women, coupled men have been preserving highly risky and intense social behavior during the COVID- 19 pandemic.