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More than half of underage gay teens use Grindr to find a community

More than half of underage gay teens use Grindr to find a community

Man using a phone

According to a new study, more than half of gay and bisexual teens aged 14 to 17 use dating apps to find a sense of community. This is despite the fact that most of these apps have an age limit of 18 or older.

A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health revealed the information.

Researchers surveyed 200 sexually active teens within the United States, known as adolescent men who have sex with men (AMSM). It is the first known study on such a topic.

The surveyed participants use apps like Grindr and Scruff, which have minimum age restrictions of 21 and 18, respectively.

Using the apps for more than hook-ups

‘Youth who use these apps are, many times, also looking for partners on Facebook, Instagram, Tindr, etc.,’ said Dr. Kathryn Macapagal, an author on the study. ‘If you’re using something like Grindr, the likelihood of you having a sexual relationship with this person is higher.

‘But we also found that although you might have had sexual relations with these folks, these folks might have turned into friends, they might have turned into boyfriends. So there is some evidence that youth are getting lots more out of these apps than just sexual relationships.’

Parents are also concerned with their children’s access to these apps, since the age restrictions do not seem to be enforced.

‘I wouldn’t want anyone to go meet someone without really, fully vetting these people or maybe telling a parent,’ said Denise DeRosa, a mother of three.

‘That’s where the dangers are, and I think that kind of goes across whether you’re heterosexual, homosexual, transgender or lesbian — we don’t want 14-year-olds seeking to date people 21 and older.’

Grindr’s statement

Grindr does not condone illegal or improper behavior and we are troubled that an underage person may have been using our app in violation of our terms of service. Grindr services are only available for adults. Grindr encourages anyone aware of any illegal or improper activity on the app to submit a report either within the app or via email.

H/t: Chicago Tribune