It is the first known study to document that gay and bisexual teenage boys use sex and dating apps designed for adult men to find male partners. The apps provide users with a virtual networking space specifically for gay and bisexual men and overcome the need to figure out a potential partner's or friend's sexuality. These features might be appealing to gay and bisexual adolescent boys who are not as open about their sexual identity, who have a smaller pool of potential partners compared to their heterosexual peers and who are navigating dating and sex with same-gender partners for the first time.
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Teenage boys who used the apps were more likely seek out important sexual health services, such as HIV testing, the study found. It is common for adolescents, regardless of their sexual orientation, to use sexually explicit media such as apps or porn to explore their sexuality. However, young men who have sex with men are far more likely than other groups to be infected with HIV, and the study found that most boys who had had sex with partners they met on the apps didn't always use condoms.
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This, they claim, is "the only gay social app approved by the iTunes store for year-olds and older. Before you mount your high, sweaty horse and exert a moral gallop over the idea, might I say that this app doesn't have sex at its core? Instead, and I'm quoting the company now, Distinc.
Implicit in this rococo marketing speak is the notion that gay people know where it's at before, you know, other sorts of people do. Here's an extract: Just as Google tells you there are "right" ads and "wrong" ones, so here you can have access to the "right" events, rather than quiz night at your local Uzbek potato vodka bar. In the iTunes store, Distinc.
Belkin says he's launching Distinc. He wants "the good-taste part of the gay stereotype to gain traction with advertisers and cross the mainstream divide. In this, he has some very famous and tasteful investors -- old PayPal pals Peter Thiel and Keith Rabois, to name but two. Taste and art are often intertwined like long-lost lovers, one of whom has flown in from the Andes and the other from Boise.
The art here is that Distinc. I suspect that you and I and the hamsters pushing the algorithmic wheel at Distinc. Sometimes, though, we're at a loss as to where to find it. Please remember, we're talking Harvard people here. So don't be surprised that they claim this is "the only app that combines social networking, event ticketing, attendee visibility, location-based services, and hot-spot locating with predictability and in real time.
Unlike Internet dating, their precursor, mobile apps are location based — they show other users available in the immediate area, in real time. This can lead to spontaneous sex and risky behaviour.
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By connecting adolescents to a larger network of potential sexual partners, the apps also enable any HIV infections to spread further and faster. Nest sits in the garden of a trendy coffee shop in Ari, where Thai students meet to sip cappuccinos, hang out and play songs on an acoustic guitar. Unlike some of his older friends, Nest had relatively few problems coming out. Nest met his first boyfriend online in when he was 14, through a video chatting site.
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We met at a shopping mall, then went to a hotel nearby. A year later, in , Nest got his first smart phone and discovered mobile dating apps. Some are looking for long-term relationships, but others just want sex. Once, after he accidently cut himself during unsafe sex, he went for an HIV test.
How mobile dating apps contribute to adolescent HIV
Those particularly at risk of contracting HIV include gay and bisexual teenagers, those who sell sex, injecting drug users, and transgender people. Adolescents with HIV also face stigma and discrimination, which can discourage them from seeking treatment.
In Thailand, for example, UNICEF has worked with the Government to reduce the age of consent for HIV tests to under 18, so that adolescents can access testing services without adult consent, which otherwise might act as a deterrent. In addition, research on young at-risk communities has helped better understand behaviours that put adolescents at risk of HIV and to advocate for adolescent-specific strategies for HIV prevention. In China, UNICEF is supporting community-based organizations in reaching out directly to adolescent gay men via mobile dating apps and other tools to promote HIV counselling and testing.
He chats on Skype from his downtown apartment, wearing a large pair of DJ headphones.