Characteristics of men who have sex with men on the Internet but identify as heterosexual, compared with heterosexually identified men who have sex with women

Michael W. Ross, Sven Axel Månsson, Kristian Daneback, Ronny Tikkanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

We compared men who have sex with other men on the Internet with the remainder of the sample of men who reported only sex with women on the Internet, in a sample of 1,846 Swedish men recruited from a major Swedish portal. We report on the self-identified heterosexual men in the sample who reported engaging in cybersex in the past year, and for whom there was complete data on sexual identity and the gender of cybersexual partners. Of the 244 cases with full data, 76% were heterosexual in both identity and behavior, 16% were gay or bisexual in identity and reported both male and female cybersexual contacts on the Internet, and 8% indicated their sexual preference was heterosexual but also reported at least one male sexual partner on the Internet. Thus, 11% of self-identified heterosexual men had sex with other men online. Comparing the two groups, the men who had sex with men (MSM) who did not identify (MSM-NI) spent significantly more time per week online, although a similar amount of time on sexual pursuits, as the heterosexual men. The MSM-NI were significantly more likely to agree that their online sexuality had affected their sexuality in a positive way, to have bought sex from prostitutes, to agree that they do things online that they would not do offline, have cybersex more often, use a web-camera and microphone more often, flirt and visit contact sites more often, and agree more often that sexual thoughts and behaviors are causing problems, desire to have sex creates problems, and sometimes fail to meet commitments due to their sexual behavior. These data taken together suggest that MSM-NI online are not uncommon and are characterized by the extent of their cybersexual involvement that sometimes extends to other men. Such men may rationalize this cybersex with other men as not, or minimally, sexual in much the same way as Humphreys characterized MSMs in public restrooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

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