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Words: 12, He has money, success, and a beautiful woman on his arm. That is, gay identity confusion did not moderate the mediating path between usage intensity and the number of romantic partners met. That, is gay identity confusion moderated the mediating path between usage intensity and the number of sexual partners met. Moderated mediation of outness to the family and outness to the world. In the mediating path between usage intensity and the number of romantic partners, Table 5 shows that the interaction effects between usage intensity and each of the two kinds of outness were not significant.
The interaction effect between outness to the family and usage intensity was not significant. To probe the moderating effect of outness to the world on the mediating path, outness to the family was removed from the model. Quantitatively, this study assessed how the extent to which MSM used their most preferred app to seek romance and casual sex could predict the number of romantic and casual sexual partners they met via the app. Whereas These networking apps offer opportunities for MSM to reach to potential romantic and casual sexual partners easily and conveniently.
Beyond the direct relationship between motives and outcomes, this study examined the mediating role of usage intensity. The result, as hypothesized, showed that usage intensity mediated the relationship between romance-seeking and the number of romantic partners met, and sex-seeking and the number of sexual partners met. This means that the effect of motives on the relational outcomes operated through temporal and mental investment on these apps.
While prior studies have identified psychological predispositions related to social media uses, such as collective self-esteem, traitlike communication apprehension, and online emotional openness Zhang et al. For romantic relationships, neither gay identity confusion nor outness moderated the mediating path between usage intensity and the number of romantic partners met. In other words, no matter how confused and out one was, temporal and mental investment always mediated the relationship between romance-seeking and the number of romantic partners met, echoing with the idea that looking for romantic partners require temporal and emotional efforts.
Outness to the world but not to the family directly predicted the number of romantic partners met via the app. A more complicated picture was found in sex-seeking. In contrast to romance, outness to the family but not outness to the world positively predicted the number of sexual partners met via the app.
Gay confusion identity moderated the above mediation. That is, it played a role in determining when usage intensity matters. The result suggests that the mediating path between usage intensity and the number of sexual partners met was significant only when the MSM were confused about his sexuality: the more one was confused, the larger the mediating effect was.
For those who were not confused at all, the mediation ceased to be significant.
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Two hypothetical examples may illustrate the point. For a person who is very confused about his sexuality, he may be scared, embarrassed, or shameful about interacting with other MSM. He may be more indecisive to start a chat with a MSM or ask him out for sex. Or he may be more likely to wait to be solicited by others rather than to actively solicit sex from others. Because of these possible reasons, even though he wants to look for sex through these apps, the number of sexual partners that he will actually meet through these apps will depend on how much time and energy he has invested in the apps.
In contrast, for a person who is clear about his sexuality, he may be more accepting of his own sexual desires thus feel easier to solicit sex from others. Therefore, usage intensity of the apps does not matter. Motives become the only key. Furthermore, the moderation analysis of outness to the world showed that the mediating path between usage and the number of sexual partners met was significant only when the MSM were less out to the world.
The mediating effect decreased when the MSM were more out to the world. Why does outness to the world matter? In this light, the number of sexual partners met via the apps will depend on how much time and energy they have invested in these apps.
In contrast, people who are more out to the world may have less concern to be discovered as gay.
They may not need to be overly cautious when interacting with other MSM. Therefore, usage intensity ceases to matter.
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The moderation of outness to the world and that of gay identity confusion can be viewed as the two sides of the same coin. Usually, MSM disclose their sexual orientation to others after they have accepted their sexuality Cass, In other words, people who are out to others are often less confused about their gay identity.
This is confirmed by the correlation reported above. There are three statistical limitations in this study.
First, the current study was based a non-random sample. Some researchers have utilized Grindr to recruit geographically stratified samples Burrell et al.
Second, in measuring the numbers of romantic and sexual partners, count data were not used; instead, ordinal scales were used. The ordinal measures were treated as interval when performing the conditional process analysis, which only supports interval or ratio variables as the outcome variables. The results, therefore, needed to be interpreted cautiously. Lastly, nine multivariate outliers were excluded in all mediation analyses.
The interpretation of the results cannot be generalized to older, long-term app users who are more out to their family and had more sexual partners met via the app. Further studies can explore different psychographics underlying the uses of these MSM- specific networking apps. While need for privacy and difficulty process are similar to outness, stigma sensitivity, internationalized homonegativity, and identity superiority may play different roles in the romance and sex-related behaviors on the apps.
Secondly, this kind of networking apps is powered by the global positioning services. Finally, Gudelunas mentioned that current relationship status may affect uses of these networking apps. People may also use different apps for different purposes. A more nuanced analysis can be performed by differentiating people in different relationship statuses and people using different platforms.
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