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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Over the past few years, researchers have begun to explore the use of the personals section on Craigslist. Yet, the exact ramification of such a free sexual advertisement service on MSM's sexual health and sexual risk-taking behaviors are just being documented. As such, we surveyed men by responding to their sexual placed on Craigslist. Using Self-Efficacy Theory as our foundation, we posited that MSM who placed more and reported more success from these would also report more negative health behaviors e.
Testing confirmed this hypothesis. There were two important implications. The behavior of Internet cruising, on its own, insufficiently impacted MSM health. It was the interaction of of self-efficacy and the success of those outcome-efficacy that ultimately contributed to negative health behaviors. Second, MSM may have had different intentions for cruising. The anti-theoretical tendency for some men to continually place high s of while also reporting very low success suggested that the outcome of merely placing the might be sufficiently erotic for some men.
A major shift has occurred over the past fifteen years in how men who have sex with men MSM find potential sexual partners. In the past, MSM often searched gay bars and bathhouses for casual sexual encounters. Today, such men who look for sexual partners can view advertisements of men on the internet that list demographic information, sexual propensities, and other personal information. These can be created cheaply and easily, in some cases for free. As a result, websites catering to MSM in search of same-sex sexual encounters have proliferated. This is a site that is community-specific and allows for individuals in close proximity e.
Moreover, this is a free service, as compared with other websites that charge monthly or yearly fees e. Yet, the exact ramifications of such a free sexual advertisement service on MSM's sexual health and sexual risk-taking behaviors are just being documented. Admittedly, research has been conducted on the sexual health of MSM who generally use the internet to find sexual partners e. Thus, there does seem to be a negative impact on the health of MSM who cruise online. That is, MSM who are highly sensitive to positive experiences e.
This may be due to the availability and anonymity of individual cruising, which can be carried out at any time from any computer or internet-ready device e. Others suggest that sexual compulsivity may play a role Grov et al. MSM who are already sexually compulsive may use the internet to facilitate sex with even more speed. This le to more sexual partners and more frequently enacted unprotected intercourse. Yet, there is a theoretical component missing from the research on MSM who use the internet to acquire sex: outcome-efficacy Bandura, Research has shown that individuals will decide to enact a behavior according to degrees of self- and outcome-efficacy.
Outcome-efficacy refers to whether the behavior will lead to a specific positive or negative outcome Bandura, Behavior enactment is contingent on both of these concepts. Merely because an individual shows a high degree of self-efficacy regarding a behavior e. Outcome efficacy must also be high e.
Research shows that during instances in which self- and outcome-efficacy contrast, behavioral enactment may be unpredictable. For example, using safer sex, men report knowing how and why to use condoms i. However, they also report the outcome of decreased sensation. A strong degree of self-efficacy is implicit in all of the research ly cited on MSM internet cruising: MSM know how to cruise, and it is an available and employable behavior useful towards acquiring sex.
Men's perceptions of outcome-efficacy are virtually unknown. That is, do the men feel that internet cruising produces a quantifiable positive or negative outcome? Though individuals may have a high degree of self-efficacy at cruising, they actually may have a low degree of outcome-efficacy.
Simply, some MSM may be cruising, but this behavior may not be leading them to actualized sex. The role of varying outcome-efficacy on the sexual health and sexual health behaviors of MSM is even more uncertain. It would seem that increased self-efficacy regarding internet cruising, as shown through the ly mentioned studies e.
That is, as men report more success with advertising for sex online, their condom use and communication about HIV will decrease, and they will report having acquired more STI infections during the past year. This only will be exacerbated by an increased of advertisements placed. Because Craigslist offers the discrete placement of free one free ad at a time , we selected this website to test our hypotheses. Men should be able to count the of they placed in a given time and assess how many of these resulted in actualized sex with a male partner.
Also, Craigslist is free of cost and available to all men as compared against pay-sites such as Manhunt. These men were recruited from all of the Craigslist locations in which English was the predominate language i. Specifically, we responded to each man's listed advertisement with a block message informing him of a research study on the sexual health behaviors of men looking for sex online. MSM interested in taking the survey could click on a link embedded in the that took them directly to the survey.
Participants were not compensated for their time. This study focused on MSM, regardless of self-reported sexual orientation. Participants completed the minute survey from February to April Of the individuals who began the survey, We collected a larger sample to compensate for this tendency. To assess the degree to which MSM were communicating their HIV serostatus to partners, we asked for the of anal sex partners the men had acquired during the past year by using the internet.
The of reported STIs was summed for each participant. First, the data were analyzed using bivariate correlations and analysis of variance to test for potential control variables. Weighted least squares WLS multiple linear regression was used for testing for associations between the independent variables and positive or negative sexual health behaviors. We weighted the analyses that featured condom use, HIV disclosure, and of STIs acquired by of anal intercourse partners. This was conducted because the variance associated with men who had few actual anal sex partners was not equivalent to the variance associated with men who had many actual anal sex partners—particularly with respect to negative sexual health behaviors.
WLS moderated regression was used to explore amplified effects e. Variables were entered at different steps of the regression, with controlled variables entered before the independent and moderator variable. The interaction term was entered last. When an interaction term proved to be ificant, we deconstructed the term into its different variations in order to interpret its meaning accurately.
Continuous variables, such as percent of that proved successful, were transformed into low and high variations by subtracting or adding one standard deviation to each participant's response. Most men This was a relatively rural sample. Many of the men came from small to medium-sized towns A sizeable minority reported a sexual orientation other than homosexual On average, the men placed one ad every five to six days and were successful every three to four .
No notable differences were found regarding the demographic variables, amount of placed, and success rate of those placed. Success rate was not influenced ificantly by amount of placed. of male anal sex partners was measured retrospectively over the past 12 months and refers to partners met through the Internet.
Thus, we controlled for these variables across all of the analyses. The first model contained the control variables, success rate, and of placed as independent variables and condom use as the dependent variable. We added an interaction term to the model to see if the two main independent variables amplified each other i. To interpret this result more accurately, we split the interaction by those who were more successful one SD above the mean, or Low and high of predicting condom use by success rate.
Note, the x-axis represents generalized low one SD below the mean and high of one SD above the mean , and the y-axis represents increasing condom use. Those who were more successful at hooking-up fell one SD above the mean, and those who were not successful at hooking-up fell one SD below the mean. The horizontal line running across the figure represents the mean for condom use. The second model contained the control variables, success rate, and of placed as independent variables and HIV disclosure as the dependent variable.
We controlled for age and HIV status. We ran a WLS moderated regression model containing the control variables, success rate, and of placed as independent variables and condom use as the dependent variable. Low and high of predicting of STIs by success rate. Because this was a statistical model, the configuration projects that highly successful men with low s of would have had zero STIs over the year.
Our research focused on the interplay between online sexual ad placements, the success of these towards acquiring a sexual partner, and MSM's health. Considering research and theories, we posited that increased success rate at hooking-up from placed would be associated negatively with condom use and HIV disclosure. As a corollary, men reporting higher success rates also would report having contracted more STIs. Indeed, our showed that condom use decreased by success rate; and the of placed amplified this relationship. Our also showed that while success rate predicted increased HIV disclosure, this relationship was not present in men who placed large s of .
Finally, men placing a large of and reporting successful sexual encounters from those admitted to having contracted more STIs. Another purpose of our research was to show that having high self-efficacy regarding internet cruising, on its own, would not impact MSM's health negatively. Our showed that such men i. In applying the Self-Efficacy Theory Bandura, to our , men with high self- but low outcome-efficacy seemed to be more conscientious regarding sexual health. It was the men with high self-and high outcome-efficacy who were the most at risk regarding internet cruising and negative sexual health outcomes.
This may not necessarily be true for all men cruising for sex online, as our study illustrates. There are several implications of our research that extend past the condom use or HIV disclosure by the men. When researching MSM internet cruising, it is important to understand how to measure the behavior. That is, what precisely is the unit for internet cruising as a behavior? Is it the time spent by men online or of advertisements placed?
Is it the of partners accrued by using the internet? Clearly, figuring out the unit will influence the relationship between cruising and sexual health outcomes. For example, we found no independent relationship between s of placed or the success of the and increased STI prevalence. However, when we created a nuanced unit that ed more holistically for the behavior i.
This was echoed when exploring condom use and HIV disclosure. Researchers who conduct future studies might for this more explicitly. We also found that men tend to cruise with different intensities. Some in our sample placed every day looking for potential partners.
Others had only placed the one ad to which we responded when we asked them to take our survey. By ing for the degree to which the men are successful, it appeared that the men might have different purposes or intentions for cruising. The reason men placed on Craigslist in the men seeking men section was ostensibly because they were looking for an offline sexual encounter.
It seems anti-theoretical to Self-Efficacy Theory that men would continue to place a high of over a 90 day period while also reporting very low success of the . Low outcome-efficacy tends to predict low behavioral enactment in research Bandura, ; Thus, a ratio of high of to low success would suggest that the outcome of merely placing the might be sufficient for some men. s exchanged with other men might be adequately erotic; this might be a variation of cyber sex that has evolved for some men.
Further studies might assess the positive and negative psychological and psychosexual health implications for these MSM. Our study was not without its limitations. First, we only collected data from Craigslist users. As mentioned, there are numerous websites that cater to internet cruising e. Our are not generalizable to all men who place advertisements or profiles online. The response rate was problematic too.
Though we addressed this by spending the extra time to collect a large diverse sample of over men, this may have introduced a selection bias to the study. Additionally, we only collected data from Craigslist users who were placing advertisements actively. The sexual health behaviors of Craigslist users who do not place but who review the of those looking to hookup was unknown.Looking for men to fuck
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