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Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now: Romantic and Casual Partner-Seeking Online Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

Abstract

Dating is a normative behavior for youth, yet few studies have examined the relationship between romantic partner-seeking and sexual behavior among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). This omission is most notable across studies examining YMSM’s partner-seeking behaviors online. In this study, we examined the relationship between sexual behaviors and online partner-seeking behaviors for casual and romantic partners in a sample of YMSM (N = 431; M = 21.49 years old, SD = 1.94) who reported using the Internet to meet other men. Using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), we found YMSM in the High Romantic/High Casual group had more unprotected partners than YMSM in other categories. YMSM in the High Romantic/Low Casual group had fewer unprotected partners than the High Romantic/High Casual group. We discuss the implications of our findings and conclude that there is a need to further examine romantic partner-seeking among YMSM.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by an award from the University of Michigan’s Office of the Vice-President for Research (UM-OVPR 5996) and a NIH Career Development Award (K01-MH087242) to Dr. Bauermeister. We are grateful to Dr. Kalichman and our reviewers for their insightful comments in earlier drafts of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to José A. Bauermeister.

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Bauermeister, J.A., Leslie-Santana, M., Johns, M.M. et al. Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now: Romantic and Casual Partner-Seeking Online Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men. AIDS Behav 15, 261–272 (2011) doi:10.1007/s10461-010-9834-5

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Keywords

  • Internet
  • HIV
  • Young men who have sex with men
  • Hooking up
  • Dating
  • Partners