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Although there is a growing body of literature investigating gay and bisexual men’s use of the Internet, much of this research has focused specifically on sexual risk behaviors, including use of the Internet to locate casual or anonymous sex partners, and often contrasting the type of sex acts engaged in with partners met online versus those who are met in physical locations (Chiasson et al., 2006; Bolding, Davis, Hart, Sherr, & Elford, 2006; Grov, De Busk, Bimbi, Golub, Nanin, & Parsons, 2007).Unfortunately, there is little research investigating gay and bisexual men’s use of the Internet as a tool to navigate their sexuality and find intimacy, including dating and romantic partner-seeking.Examples of sites screening for religion include J-date (for Jews), Dharma Date (for Buddhists), (for Muslims), and Catholic Mingle; sites centered on race include Ebony Friends (for African Americans) and Asian Singles; and sites for older Americans include Dating For Seniors.
Specialized personals services have proliferated to cater to users’ interests in homogamy.
Similarly, few studies explore lesbians’ and bisexual women’s use of the Internet for sexual and romantic purposes.
Further, little research has systematically examined sexual orientation differences in Internet use, especially comparing heterosexuals’ and homosexuals’ use of online venues to find partners for long-term relationships, as well as for casual sex. real world) courting market, and have greater difficulty than men in finding mates through their social networks (Mahay & Laumann, 2004).
For example, users may choose to limit their dating search to people who live 5–25 miles away if they are in cities, or up to 250 miles if they are in more rural areas.
The Internet thereby allows users to electronically apply the principle of propinquity to filter the huge, nationwide pool of eligible partners.Given that aging is a disadvantage in conventional dating markets, especially for women who are less successful than male counterparts at meeting new partners at work, church and other “embedded institutions” (Mahay & Laumann, 2004), we also explore how older versus younger members of each sexual orientation group fare using Internet dating sites.