The roles of sensation seeking and gratifications sought in social networking apps use and attendant sexual behaviors

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

The rise of social networking mobile applications (apps) (e.g, Grindr, Jack'd) created specifically for men who have sex with men (MSM) has generated public health concerns and conflicting studies about the impact on risky sexual behaviors. This study seeks to gain a more precise understanding of why and how MSM are using social networking mobile apps, and informs the theoretical debate concerning the impact of social networking technology on sexual risk behaviors. A questionnaire survey was conducted, both online and offline, with young MSM app-users in Hong Kong to examine their apps use (frequency, history, and exposure of own face and body) and recent sexual partnering via apps (total sexual partners [TSP] and condomless sex partners [CSP]) in relation to gratifications sought and sexual sensation seeking. The results indicated that finding sexual partners was not a high priority for using MSM apps; surveillance, relationship, and diversion motives were more important while social motive shared similar importance. App-use frequency, sex motive, and sexual sensation seeking predicted more TSP while surveillance motive predicted fewer TSP. None of these variables, however, directly predicted CSP. Sexual sensation seeking in interaction with sex or diversion motive predicted both TSP and CSP. Despite lacking significant association with sex motive or sexual sensation seeking, app-use frequency was a stronger independent predictor of TSP. While frequent app use may facilitate more app-met sexual partners, this study found no evidence indicating that app use promotes riskier sexual behavior with those partners.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th 2016 International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016
EditorsAnatoliy Gruzd, Jenna Jacobson, Evelyn Ruppert, Philip Mai, Dhiraj Murthy
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Print)9781450339384
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2016
Event7th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201613 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference7th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period11/07/1613/07/16

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

User-Defined Keywords

  • Men who have sex with men
  • Mobile applications
  • Sexual partnering
  • Sexual sensation seeking
  • Social networking sites
  • Uses and gratifications

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The roles of sensation seeking and gratifications sought in social networking apps use and attendant sexual behaviors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this