What is it about?

Dating apps have become increasingly popular due to the ease of establishing communication with new people. However, some use this functionality as a channel to distribute illegal substances. This study focused on men who have sex with men and assessed how often dating apps are used to persuade others to consume illegal psychoactive substances. The results were concerning – many participants reported using dating apps to motivate others to use illegal substances, which was also linked with a higher likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex.

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Why is it important?

These findings suggest that the use of online dating sites could lead to establishing various connections – some of them may be romantic, while others may lead to participation in illegal or unsafe activities. This highlights the relevance of well-designed educational tools that could prepare future users for the risks associated with using such applications. This does not mean that dating applications necessarily lead to unfavorable outcomes – it just means that more effort has to be invested in informing users on how to avoid the potential risks of using such sites.

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This page is a summary of: Utilization of dating apps by men who have sex with men for persuading other men toward substance use, Psychology Research and Behavior Management, January 2017, Dove Medical Press, DOI: 10.2147/prbm.s121480.
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