Sexuality Research & Social Policy

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 27–37 | Cite as

Personal safety and sexual safety for women using online personal ads

Special Issue Article

Abstract

This study examined the impact of the Interneton personal and sexual safety for women meeting men through online ads. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected with an online survey. Of the 740 women who completed the survey, 568 reported having met in person with a man who answered their online personal ad. Results revealed that women used e-mail communication prior to a face-to-face meeting to negotiate such issues as safety, boundaries, sexual preferences, history of sexually transmitted infections, and condom use. Thirty percent of respondents engaged in sexual activity on their first encounter. Seventy-seven percent of respondents who met an online partner did not use condoms for their first sexual encounter. The high frequency and intensity of e-mail communication prior to meeting in person cultivated acceleration of intimacy for the individuals involved and may have affected women’s decisions to engage in risky sexual behaviors.

Keywords

women’s sexual health the Internet condom use sexual risk taking Internet dating 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bull, S., & McFarlane, M. (2000). Soliciting sex on the Internet: What are the risks for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV? Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 27, 545–550.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Cooper, A., Månsson, S., Daneback, K., Tikkanen, R., & Ross, M. W. (2003). Predicting the future of Internet sex: Online sexual activities in Sweden. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 18, 277–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cooper, A., & Sportolari, L. (1997). Romance in cyberspace: Understanding online attraction. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 22, 7–14.Google Scholar
  4. Ehrhardt, A. A. (2000). Gender, sexuality, and human development. In J. Bancroft (Eds.), The role of theory in sex research (pp. 3–15). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Gagnon, J. H., & Simon, W. (1973). Sexual conduct: The sources of human sexuality. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  6. Kachur, R. E., McFarlane, M., Bull, S., & Rietmeijer, C. (2002). Can the Internet facilitate women’s risk for chlamydial infection? In J. Schachter, G. Christiansen, I. N. Clarke, M. R. Hannerschlang, B. Kaltenboeck, C. C. Kuo, et al. (Eds.), Chlamydial infections: Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Human Chlamydial Infections (pp. 209–212). San Francisco: International Chlamydial Symposium.Google Scholar
  7. Krahe, B. (2000). Sexual scripts and heterosexual aggression. In T. Eckes & H. M. Trautner (Eds.), The developmental social psychology of gender (pp. 273–292). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  8. Leiblum, S. R. (2001). Women, sex, and the Internet. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 16, 389–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McFarlane, M., Bull, S. S., & Rietmeijer, C. A. (2002). Young adults on the Internet: Risk behaviors for sexually transmitted diseases and human immunodeficiency virus. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31, 11–16.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. McFarlane, M., Kachur, R., Bull S., & Rietmeijer C. (2004). Women, the Internet, and sexually transmitted infections. Journal of Women’s Health, 13, 689–694.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. McFarlane, M., Kachur, R., Klausner, J., Roland, E., & Cohen, M. (2005). Internet-based health promotion and disease control in the 8 cities: Successes, barriers, and future plans. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 32, S60-S64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. McGerty, L. J. (2000). Nobody lives only in cyberspace: Gendered subjectives and domestic use of the Internet. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 3, 895–899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Morahan-Martin, J. (2000). Women and the Internet: Promise and perils. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 3, 683–691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Parks, M. R., & Roberts, L. D. (1998). Making MOOsic: The development of personal relationships online and a comparison to their off-line counterparts. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 517–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rietmeijer, C. A., Bull, S. S., & McFarlane, M. (2001). Sex and the Internet. AIDS, 15, 1433–1434.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Ross, M. W. (2005). Typing, doing, and being: Sexuality and the Internet. Journal of Sex Research, 42, 342–352.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ross, M. W., Tikkanen, R., & Månsson, S. (2000). Differences between Internet samples and conventional samples of men who have sex with men: Implications for research and HIV interventions. Social Science and Medicine, 51, 749–758.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Schneider, J. P. (2000). A qualitative study of cybersex participants: Gender differences, recovery issues, and implications for therapists. Sex Addiction Compulsivity, 7, 249–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Tikkanen, R., & Ross, M. (2000). Looking for sexual compatibility: Experiences among Swedish men in visiting Internet gay chat rooms. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 3, 605–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Turner, C. F., Ku, L., Rogers, S. M., Lindburg, L. D., Pleck, J. H., & Sonestein, F. L. (2001). Adolescent sexual behavior, drug use, and violence: Increased reporting with computer survey technology. Science, 280, 867–873.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Williams, M. L., Bowen, A. M., Elwood, W. N., McCoy, C. C., McCoy, H. V., Freeman, R. C., et al. (2000). Determinants of condom use among African Americans who smoke crack cocaine. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 2, 15–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wysocki, D. K. (1998). Let your fingers do the talking: Sex on an adult chat-line. Sexualities, 1, 425–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Texas School of Public HealthHouston

Personalised recommendations