Your picture is your bait: use and meaning of cyberspace among gay men
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The Internet is seen by many as a form of cyberspace or environment in which to interact and socialise. This research project drew from the data of a quantitative and qualitative study of gay men in Perth, Western Australia. We examined gay men's usage patterns of chat rooms and other social aspects of the Internet to meet sexual partners. We then reviewed in detail the meanings gay men have for the various Internet environments, and the range of friendship, relationship, casual, or esoteric sex-seeking goals. We argue that gay men view and engage with the Internet differently from how they view and engage with other more traditional gay spaces. This different approach influences how interaction between the men, either online or face-to-face, progresses and how assumptions and expectations are built. This has implications for how sexual health promotion interventions determine the appropriate role and relationship they have with these online social spaces.
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