Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now: Romantic and Casual Partner-Seeking Online Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men
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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.
KeywordsInternet HIV Young men who have sex with men Hooking up Dating Partners
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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