Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Original Article

Mobile dating apps use and sexual risk behavior among Brazilian undergraduate students

Edson Zangiacomi Martinez, Vitoria de Souza Pinto Frazatto, Jonathan Leonardo Gonçalves Prudencio, Guilherme Galdino, Miriane Lucindo Zucoloto

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One of the most popular ways to meet new people in the modern world is through dating apps. However, its use may facilitate casual sexual encounters and quick partner changes, both of which associated to endangering sexual health in different populations.

To describe the use of mobile dating apps among undergraduate students at a major Brazilian public university and investigate its associations with sexual risk behaviors and sociodemographic factors.

This is a cross-sectional study based on a web survey. The link for participation was made available to students enrolled in undergraduate courses in the eight units of the University of São Paulo, Campus Ribeirão Preto. Use of dating apps, sociodemographic/behavioral profile, and sexual risk behaviors were among the variables studied. The distribution of apps users was calculated for each variable of interest, and prevalence ratios (PRs) were used for comparisons. PRs were reported with 95% confidence intervals.   

A total of 487 students participated, with 32.9% reporting using dating apps. Male participants were more likely to use. The use of dating apps was associated with having multiple sexual partners and risky behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance abuse.  Conclusion: It is critical to describe the pattern of app use in undergraduate students and understand their influence on sexual health in order to avoid stigmatizing users. Additionally, this information can be helpful in directing the creation of strategies for using these apps as resources to promote health, such as the information-sharing regarding the sexual health.



Sexual behavior, mobile applications, students, health promotion

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