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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Although dating applications apps have become popular among young adults, there is a dearth of information regarding the sexual health implications among Brazilian college students. Three hundred and fifty-nine students reported their sociodemographic data, dating app use, and sexual behaviors and attitudes through self-administered questionnaires.
Dating app use was reported by Women frequently requested condom use. Men had a greater of sexual partners and less protective attitudes. A positive attitude toward sexual health was not a predictor of safe sex. Important similarities and differences regarding risky sexual behaviors and attitudes were observed between the sexes, many of which correlated with increased sexual vulnerability during the sexual encounters arranged through the dating apps. This cross-sectional study supports efforts on sexual health promotion and sexual education implementation in the face of growing usage of apps among young adults for sexual matters.
Technology has become an essential tool for education and social communication [ 1 ]. The advent of the Internet boosted interpersonal relationships, influenced by virtual rooms and visual and digital mobile communication. Students use educational technology as a means of transmitting knowledge, and mobile technology plays a role in the interactions of this population through rapid conversation feedback, social support, well-being, and encounters [ 23 ]. Most apps are free, and users can chat with a large of people through location-based algorithms using a Global Positioning System GPS.
Interpersonal encounters arranged through apps vary from social networking to finding sexual partners [ 4567 ]. Sexual behavior includes all activities in which individuals explore their sexual life and sexuality across cultural influences, biological elements, and social groups, involving solitary or partnered sex, relationships, reproductive health, contraception, and sexually transmitted infections STIs [ 8 ].
studies have reported negative sexual health implications for dating app users. Drug use, compulsivity, deception, risky behaviors [ 9 ], sexual abuse [ 10 ], Casual encounter in Brazil [ 11 ] associated with socio-sexuality, and reports of STIs [ 12 Casual encounter in Brazil are more prevalent in this population. Although factors predicting engagement in casual sex for both sexes from the use of dating apps [ 13 ] and risky sexual behaviors and attitudes among young adults, college students and men who have sex with men MSM [ 141516 ] have been thoroughly addressed, there has been little emphasis on biological sex, beyond sexual orientation [ 17 ].
In Brazil, the National School-based Health Survey studies have reported that the first experience with sexual intercourse usually occurs during adolescence at an average age of 13 years [ 181920 ]. Although data on the prevalence of STIs among Brazilian adolescents are limited, early sexual initiation is associated with unprotected sex, which may contribute to the high prevalence of STIs and unplanned pregnancy among Brazilian young adults [ 2122 ].
Theme-Filha et al. Students report not having received pregnancy prevention counseling or sexual health education [ 24 ]. In addition, multiple sexual partners and non-adherence to prophylactic measures after exposure to risk are the factors commonly reported by young Brazilian adults and college students [ 2228 ], which differ between men and women [ 2129 ]. The existing research examines risky sexual behavior of Brazilian dating app users primarily in the context of sexual orientation, more specifically for single, young MSM with high education levels.
The most commonly reported dating apps for sex-seeking in this population are Grindr, Hornet, Scruff, and Tinder [ 303132 ]. Recently, Lopes and Vogel [ 33 ] found that Brazilian women use Tinder for other social interactions, such as looking for people, friends, casual dates, and Casual encounter in Brazil. Notably, youth is an important time for social development and may be a critical period for promoting healthy behaviors and attitudes that will help protect young people from issues like STIs. The large of young adults in the academic environment makes this an ideal space for studying factors related to the digital era, since access to apps and casual short-term relationships are common in this population.
Investigating the association between the use of dating apps and the sexual health of Brazilian college students is essential for guiding decision-making and interventions related to the quality of life for these students. This was a cross-sectional study examining the sexual behaviors and attitudes of college students. Data were collected from August to April A self-administered, anonymous questionnaire was employed to obtain the variables of interest.
The ballot-box technique was used to ensure the confidentiality of the responses, to improve reliability, and to avoid social desirability bias. The participants were informed that they could skip questions they did not want to answer. Details about the participants, procedures, measurements, and statistical analysis are provided below. A convenience sample of college students was recruited from the Federal University of Tocantins, Palmas, Brazil.
A recruitment booth was set up in common areas of the university campus. Fifty-three A sample of answered the questionnaire. Fifty-three questionnaires The final sample consisted of students. The study protocol was approved by the research ethics committee of the Federal University of Tocantins No. The participants voluntarily ed the Informed Consent Form after being informed about the objectives of the study. No compensation was offered to participate in this study. The sexual behaviors of app users were evaluated using the following questions, based on studies [ 4516 ].
Reasons for engaging in safe sex: i I had a condom; ii my partner asked me to use a condom; iii I asked my partner to use a condom. How many sexual partners have you had in the past three months?
Have you been tested for an STI after intercourse? Was the test result positive?
The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Categorical variables were expressed as relative and absolute frequencies. The participants were divided into two groups: men and women. In addition, the same tests were used to determine the associations between sex and categorical sexual behavior variables, including the reasons for safe and unsafe sex.
Then, a factorial one-way analysis of variance ANOVA with a Bonferroni post-hoc test was used to understand sex differences in positive attitude, app use, and sexual practice. In this case, sex, use of dating apps, casual partner encounters, sexual practice, and safe sex were categorized as independent variables, and the sum of all attitude values was considered the dependent variable. Measures of central tendency mean and dispersion standard deviation were used. As shown in Table 1of the participants, The median age was Casual encounter in Brazil years.
To investigate sexual behaviors, There was no statistically ificant difference between sex and casual encounters. However, Men and women reported similar rates of condom use. Most women requested the use of a condom. Among men, The reasons for using or not using a condom were not reported by five participants. There was no statistically ificant difference between the sexes for being tested after intercourse.
Overall, In addition, two men and two women reported testing positive for an STI 6. Men who used dating apps had a lower mean protective attitude score than those who did not use dating apps. By contrast, female dating app users had a higher mean protective attitude score Table 3.
Analysis of attitude toward sexual health and use of dating applications, casual partner encounter, sex practice, and safe sex. Protective attitudes toward sexual intercourse were lower in men who had unsafe sex or underused condoms. However, even in situations where one was vulnerable to unsafe sex, women had a higher mean score for attitudes toward sexual care Table 3.
In this study, most dating app users reported having sex with the casual partners they met through the app. These data corroborate those of Choi et al. Using dating apps allows for more chances to talk and to find a potential sexual partner, while preserving distance and reducing the risk of embarrassment in case of a declined invitation.
This study showed that at least one in two sexually active college students reported not using or underusing condoms. Young adult participants and those reporting casual encounters were more likely to engage in this risky behavior. There is evidence that men and women use online resources to increase sexual activity [ 35 ], that there is low condom use among young or college-aged app users [ 4 ], and that participants in casual relationships are more likely to engage in unsafe sex [ 36 ]. Data from the current study showed that, compared to men, women are less likely to have a condom available.
One possible explanation is that in sociocultural relationships, carrying a condom is considered necessary for sexual activities, but the behavior is often attributed to men by hegemonic male role norms [ 37 ]. Sexual coercion was reported by 8. One concerning factor is that these apps could be used by sexual abusers, particularly because app users were more likely to find a partner who would insist on sex without a condom [ 10 ].
Neglecting sexual protection is influenced by bonds of intimacy and trust [ 37 ]. Thus, some studies have reported that trust is equally influenced by both biological sex and gender, and it can be an essential factor in regulating condom use [ 4142 ]. In addition, having a stable sexual partner in decreased condom use, especially in young adults [ 43 ]. However, in our sample, exposure to multiple sexual partners was reported three times more by male participants. Some studies have reported the influence of gender on sexual practice, showing that men tend to seek multiple sexual partners using apps and websites [ 644 ].
Most female dating app users received no sexual health information. Huang et al. Safe sexual health Casual encounter in Brazil on dating apps can be an intervention method to reduce risky sexual behavior. This is justified because participants who investigated STIs searched for health guidance via dating apps.
Thus, most participants were never tested for STIs after intercourse with a casual partner. These data corroborate a study by James et al. One possibility for increasing testing in this population is to provide testing at counseling centers, ensuring support since the person looks for the service until referral to clinical Casual encounter in Brazil.
A positive attitude toward sexual health was inverted for women. Knowledge, tradition, beliefs, and family values influence decision-making regarding sexual practice [ 47 ]. In this study, a healthy sexual practice attitude, although higher among women, was not a predictor of safe sex.
This phenomenon corroborates the study by Widman et al. Another hypothesis is that, at the time of sex, although women recognize its importance, their willingness to use protection is undermined by men. This theory has important consequences for the influence of sex education. In this study, men who had unsafe sex saw healthy sexual conduct as less important.
Studies that report the emotional and psychological vulnerability of app users to risky attitudes and behaviors are necessary to better understand the practice of unsafe sex. This study has some limitations. First, this is an analytical study with a cross-sectional de, preventing the differentiation of casual as opposed to stable relationships.Casual encounter in Brazil
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