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Online sexual activity experiences among college students: A four-country comparison

Journal article
Authors Nicola Döring
Kristian Daneback
Krystelle Shaughnessy
Christian Grov
Sandra E. Byers
Published in Archives of Sexual Behavior
Volume 46
Issue 6
Pages 1641–1652
ISSN 0004-0002
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Social Work
Pages 1641–1652
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-015-...
Keywords College students, Cybersex, Internet, Online sexual activity, Sexual experience
Subject categories Social Work

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare male and female college students in four countries (Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the U.S.) on their lifetime experiences (prevalence) and frequency of recent experiences with six types of online sexual activities (OSA): sexual information, sexual entertainment, sexual contacts, sexual minority communities, sexual products, and sex work. Participants (N = 2690; M age, 24.65 years; 53.4 % women, 46.6 % men) were recruited from a university in each of the countries to complete an online survey that included background and demographic questions, and questions about OSA. Most participants reported experience with accessing sexual information (89.8 %) and sexual entertainment (76.5 %) online. Almost half (48.5 %) reported browsing for sexual products, and a substantial minority reported having engaged in cybersex (30.8 %). Very few participants (1.1 %) paid for online sexual services or received payment (0.5 %). In general, participants showed relatively infrequent experience with all types of OSA within the last 3 months. Men showed both higher prevalence and frequency of use of sexually stimulating material online than did women. However, this gender gap was smaller than in previous studies. Country and gender by country effects were (with one exception) either very small or non-existent, suggesting that, overall, students in the four countries were similar in their OSA experiences. Results are discussed in light of an emerging global net generation and globalized sexual culture.

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