Online Sexual Activity Experiences Among College Students: A Four-Country Comparison
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The purpose of this study was to compare male and female college students in four countries (Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the U.S.) on their lifetime experiences (prevalence) and frequency of recent experiences with six types of online sexual activities (OSA): sexual information, sexual entertainment, sexual contacts, sexual minority communities, sexual products, and sex work. Participants (N = 2690; M age, 24.65 years; 53.4 % women, 46.6 % men) were recruited from a university in each of the countries to complete an online survey that included background and demographic questions, and questions about OSA. Most participants reported experience with accessing sexual information (89.8 %) and sexual entertainment (76.5 %) online. Almost half (48.5 %) reported browsing for sexual products, and a substantial minority reported having engaged in cybersex (30.8 %). Very few participants (1.1 %) paid for online sexual services or received payment (0.5 %). In general, participants showed relatively infrequent experience with all types of OSA within the last 3 months. Men showed both higher prevalence and frequency of use of sexually stimulating material online than did women. However, this gender gap was smaller than in previous studies. Country and gender by country effects were (with one exception) either very small or non-existent, suggesting that, overall, students in the four countries were similar in their OSA experiences. Results are discussed in light of an emerging global net generation and globalized sexual culture.
KeywordsCollege students Cybersex Internet Online sexual activity Sexual experience
We would like to thank the following individuals who helped with this study: Linda Agyemang, Susan Voyer, and Sarah Vannier. Finally, a special thanks to our participants. Without them, this study would not have been possible.
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