The US government has spent nearly half a million dollars on a study of gay hook-up apps such as Grindr.
The National Institutes of Health last year awarded Columbia University $432,000 to interview 60 gay men to determine whether the apps increase risky sexual behavior.
The grant for the project said, ‘Given the expediency with which men are able to arrange sexual encounters using these applications, there is cause to question if, when, and how sexual negotiation and serostatus disclosure occurs.
‘The overall study goal is to understand how sexual risk behaviors among MSM [men who have sex with men] may be facilitated by the nature of GPS-enabled smartphone applications, the way they are used, and the process by which sexual partnering occurs via smartphone applications.’
Leader of the study Karolynn Siegel, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia, told the Washington Free Beacon that she examined ‘how and why smartphone applications are used for sexual partnering,’ how gay men ‘present themselves,’ communicate, and what they look for on apps like Grindr.
The project also studied the sexual arousal levels of users and looked at a possible ‘smartphone-based sexual risk reduction intervention.’