Results from a study in Sweden appear to suggest that people who use dating apps are more likely to have sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and engage in “risky” behaviour.
The country’s Public Health Agency surveyed more than 14,500 adults by asking them a variety of questions about online dating and sexual health. They weren’t asked specifically which products they use, but it was concluded that they were more likely to have STIs and not use condoms.
It was also found that dating app users had more experience with paying or receiving money in compensation for sex.
11% of men and 7% of women said they’d used the internet to meet people for sex. This figure was higher for members of the LGBTQ community, which is often the case across the majority of the industry.
However, the research failed to explicitly state whether online dating platforms were directly responsible for the increased sexual promiscuity.
According to the Daily Mail, the authors wrote: “Online arenas may facilitate sexual encounters, but to what extent meeting partners online is associated with sexual risk behaviors and sexual health outcomes is still not fully explored among the Swedish general population.
“It remains unclear whether the Internet use is the cause or a marker for increased sexual risk.”
A number of scientists around the world have blamed dating apps for an increase in STIs in recent years. Gonorrhea cases in Adelaide, Australia more than tripled between 2012 and 2017, while HIV diagnoses in The Philippines reached “epidemic levels” in 2018.
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