Advertisement

Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 1301–1314 | Cite as

Smartphone Battery Levels and Sexual Decision-Making Among Men Who Have Sex with Men

  • Alex Lopes
  • Kaylee Skoda
  • Cory L. PedersenEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Smartphone-dating and hook-up apps are undeniable factors in the modern landscape of sexuality. In particular, gay and bisexual men have bridged social and societal barriers for connection by using these apps. Despite advantages afforded by such technological advancements, when individuals are faced with a low phone battery, a sense of urgency may be experienced, which can increase risk-taking behaviours to accommodate an impending phone “death”. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a draining smartphone battery would facilitate a greater likelihood of agreeing to a hookup encounter. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three battery life condition groups (5%, 20%, 100%) and were asked how likely they were to agree to a hookup with a simulated potential sexual partner. We discovered that, relative to a full battery condition, participants were more likely to agree to a hookup in the lowest battery condition. Additionally, men who reported a greater likelihood of agreeing to a hookup also endorsed a greater propensity for sensation seeking, regardless of the battery condition. These findings have practical implications for educating smartphone users who utilize dating and hookup apps about how scarcity decision-making and sensation-seeking can impact the ability to practice safe sexual behaviours.

Keywords

Hookups Dating applications MSM Decision-making Smartphones 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Amanda Champion and Shelby Hughes for helpful contributions on earlier versions of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Bar-Haim, Y., Kerem, A., Lamy, D., & Zakay, D. (2010). When time slows down: The influence of threat on time perception in anxiety. Cognition and Emotion, 24(2), 255–263.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02699930903387603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blackwell, C., Birnholtz, J., & Abbott, C. (2015). Seeing and being seen: Co-situation and impression formation using Grindr, a location-aware gay dating app. New Media & Society, 17(7), 1117–1136.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444814521595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brock, T. C. (1968). Implications of commodity theory for value change. In A. G. Greenwald, T. C. Brock, & T. M. Ostrom (Eds.), Psychological foundations of attitudes (p. 246). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  4. Carpenter, C. J., & McEwan, B. (2016). The players of micro-dating: Individual and gender differences in goal orientations toward micro-dating apps. First Monday.  https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v21i5.6187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chan, P. A., Towey, C., Poceta, J., Rose, J., Bertrand, T., Kantor, R., et al. (2016). Online hookup sites for meeting sexual partners among men who have sex with men in Rhode Island, 2013: A call for public health action. Public Health Reports, 131(2), 264–271.  https://doi.org/10.1177/003335491613100210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cialdini, R. B. (2007). Influence: The psychology of persuasion (rev ed.). New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  7. Dubois, L. Z., Macapagal, K. R., Rivera, Z., Prescott, T. L., Ybarra, M. L., & Mustanski, B. (2015). To have sex or not to have sex? An online focus group study of sexual decision making among sexually experienced and inexperienced gay and bisexual adolescent men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44(7), 2027–2040.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-015-0521-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gatter, K., & Hodkinson, K. (2016). On the differences between Tinder versus online dating agencies: Questioning a myth. An exploratory study. Cogent Psychology, 3(1), 1162414.  https://doi.org/10.1080/23311908.2016.1162414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Godinho, S., Prada, M., & Garrido, M. V. (2016). Under pressure: An integrative perspective of time pressure impact on consumer decision-making. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 28(4), 251–273.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08961530.2016.1148654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Iyer, E. S. (1989). Unplanned purchasing: Knowledge of shopping environment and time pressure. Journal of Retailing, 65, 40–57.Google Scholar
  11. Justus, A. N., Finn, P. R., & Steinmetz, J. E. (2000). The influence of traits of disinhibition on the association between alcohol use and risky sexual behavior. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 24(7), 1028–1035.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00000374-200007000-00013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lenton, A. P., & Francesconi, M. (2010). How humans cognitively manage an abundance of mate options. Psychological Science, 21, 528–533.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610364958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Licoppe, C., Rivière, C. A., & Morel, J. (2016). Grindr casual hook-ups as interactional achievements. New Media & Society, 18(11), 2540–2558.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444815589702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lynn, M. (1991). Scarcity effects on value: A quantitative review of the commodity theory literature. Psychology and Marketing, 8(1), 43–57.  https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.4220080105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McDavitt, B., & Mutchler, M. G. (2014). “Dude, you’re such a slut!” Barriers and facilitators of sexual communication among young gay men and their best friends. Journal of Adolescent Research, 29(4), 464–498.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558414528974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Miller, B. (2015). “Dude, where’s your face?” Self-presentation, self-description, and partner preferences on a social networking application for men who have sex with men: A content analysis. Sexuality and Culture, 19(4), 637–658.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-015-9283-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Murai, Y., & Yotsumoto, Y. (2016). Timescale- and sensory modality-dependency of the central tendency of time perception. PLoS ONE, 11(7), 1–16.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Paul, J. P., Ayala, G., & Choi, K.-H. (2010). Internet sex ads for MSM and partner selection criteria: The potency of race/ethnicity online. Journal of Sex Research, 47(6), 528–538.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490903244575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pingel, E. S., Bauermeister, J. A., Johns, M. M., Eisenberg, A., & Leslie-Santana, M. (2013). “A safe way to explore”: Reframing risk on the Internet amidst young gay men’s search for identity. Journal of Adolescent Research, 28(4), 453–478.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558412470985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Reynolds-Tylus, T., Rinaldi-Miles, A., & Quick, B. L. (2015). Examining the principles of influence on safer sex communication during casual and committed sexual encounters. Journal of Health Communication, 20(10), 1214–1223.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2015.1018631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Roberti, J. W., Storch, E. A., & Bravata, E. (2003). Further psychometric support for the Sensation Seeking Scale—Form V. Journal of Personality Assessment, 81(3), 291–292.  https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327752JPA8103_12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rosenbaum, M. S., Daunt, K. L., & Jiang, A. (2013). Craigslist exposed: The Internet-mediated hookup. Journal of Homosexuality, 60(4), 505–531.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2013.760305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Smith, L. W., Guy, R., Degenhardt, L., Yeung, A., Rissel, C., Richters, J., et al. (2018). Meeting sexual partners through internet sites and smartphone apps in Australia: national representative study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 20(12), e10683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Suler, J. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 7(3), 321–326.  https://doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Watson, R., Snapp, S., & Wang, S. (2017). What we know and where we go from here: A review of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth hookup literature. Sex Roles, 77(11–12), 801–811.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0831-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Withnall, A. (2016). Uber knows when your phone is running out of battery. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/uber-knows-when-your-phone-is-about-to-run-out-of-battery-a7042416.html
  27. Wu, S., & Ward, J. (2018). The mediation of gay men’s lives: A review on gay dating app studies. Sociology Compass, 12(2), e12560.  https://doi.org/10.1111/soc4.12560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zuckerman, M. (1994). Behavioral expressions and biosocial bases of sensation seeking. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Zuckerman, M., Eysenck, S., & Eysenck, H. J. (1978). Sensation seeking in England and America: Cross-cultural, age, and sex comparisons. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 139–149.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.46.1.139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKwantlen Polytechnic UniversitySurreyCanada

Personalised recommendations