Social media, sexual health and men who have sex with men (MSM): an exploratory qualitative study in Scotland

Karen Lorimer, Jamie Frankis, Jane Oakland, Mark Davis, Paul Flowers

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Background: Sociosexual media have opened up important new ways for men who have sex with men (MSM) to meet other MSM for both social and sexual relationships, where interactions are markedly different from more ‘traditional’
meeting places.
Methods: Fifteen exploratory qualitative interviews and nine focus groups
were conducted with MSM living in Scotland. All data were transcribed
verbatim and analysed for recurring themes using Interpretative
Phenomenological Analysis.
Results: These data reveal how sociosexual media have modified traditional
means of social and sexual interactions for MSM. They highlight the novelty of
social media as an emerging and important social context but also the
continually changing nature of social media. Within this, the centrality of
profiles, distinct sexual cultures and the functionality of specific sites were
important in how men negotiated sexual interactions with potential partners.
These unique aspects of social media facilitated both sexual communication
and crucially HIV status disclosure. Moreover, the potential of social media to
be utilized for sexual health promotion was also highlighted.
Conclusions: Social media are an increasingly important part of the sexual
lives of MSM. Site functionality and the way men engage with this produce
unique sexual cultures which maximize sexual opportunities, compatibility and safety. Whilst it is inevitable that these sites facilitate sexual health risk
behaviors, more importantly they also present novel opportunities for targeted sexual health promotion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages147
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • HIV
  • men who have sex with men
  • social media
  • qualitative research
  • social networks

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Social media, sexual health and men who have sex with men (MSM): an exploratory qualitative study in Scotland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this