Dating apps have been considered as the vital reason for the dramatic rise of the sexually transmitted diseases. Sexually transmitted infections are rising at a startling rate, but there is also a need to consider the larger trends to understand the implications these dating apps have.
An increase in STDs over the last decade has people pointing fingers at the most popular dating apps such as Tinder. Health professionals have noticed a 45 percent increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases in California alone, with more than 200,000 cases reported in the last year.
Is It Really Social Media And Dating Apps?
Social media has certainly taken the online dating venture to the next level with some of the popular apps like Grindr and Tinder. Forever singles are able to find their perfect match with a single swipe or by scrolling through the list of eligible bachelors in their area. Although several cases have proven quite successful when looking for a perfect match, others found themselves compromising their sexual health, which eventually has led to the increasing spread of sexually transmitted infections.
Dating apps are considered as an easy and convenient approach for people to meet others they do not already know to have sex. The World Wide Web allows for the expansion of sexual networks, and the broader it gets the more chances you have for STDs to spread.
Study Indicates How Dating Apps Contributed To The Increase Of STDs
In a study conducted for the Los Angeles LGBT Center between the year 2011 and 2013, the researchers had around 7,184 bi-curious or gay men screened for STIs. Furthermore, the subjects were asked to provide details on their social networking methods and drug use to find potential sex partners.
Of those screened, the results concluded that approximately 34 percent of these men met their sexual partners in person only; other 30 percent used a combo of online dating and person to person; the remaining 36 percent used dating apps or a combination of these along with other methods.
All those men who participated in casual sexual encounters via online dating apps had 25 percent greater chances of gonorrhea and 37 percent more cases of Chlamydia than those who met their potential partners in clubs, bars, on the street or even at the gym. Fortunately, the research determined that the use of dating apps had no effect on the rates of syphilis and HIV.
The stats showed that most people using these social apps are Asian or White, college students and under 40. Additionally, researchers found that men who used these apps were more likely to engage themselves in recreational drug use.
The crux on the study was that online dating apps enhance the chances of anonymous riskier sexual encounters and catching STDs.
Unprotected, Casual Sex Increases the Risk Of STDs for Bisexual/Gay Men
According to an epidemiologist and researcher at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the use of dating apps will not assure that you will get infected with an STD, but because these apps make meeting your sexual partner a lot more efficient today, they could also have ‘the unintended effect’ of creating a network of people that are at a higher risk to contract STDs.
As technology comes with a set of benefits, it also poses certain risks. It is imperative for bisexual and gay men to learn about the potential risks that they may experience with the use of dating apps.
Grindr Responded To STD Allegations
Grindr had more than 2.5 million new users in the year 2012, and had 6 million new signups in 2013.
In response to the backlash the service faced surrounding STD cases, Grindr stated that the service is ‘highly committed to promoting safe and protected sex within the community and strongly encourages users to engage in safe sexual practices, get screened and know their HIV status.’
Sexual health professionals agree to the fact that dating apps lead to the rise in unprotected, casual sex with strangers with no or very little consideration of the individual’s sexual health status.
Physicians worry that users finding means to hookup through dating apps such as Bumble, Tinder, Grindr, and alike could be going simply unprotected. If one or the other person contracts something during their encounter, it can be tough or literally impossible to contact the other individual afterward because their profiles can be deleted.
Dating apps are taking the head for sexually transmitted diseases upticks in the United States and even overseas. The UK has reported 420,000 STI cases back in the year 2016, according to a report published by Public Health England. Sexual infections experts call this entire scenario ‘apocalyptic’ with some of the STD cases being highly resistant to antibiotics.
It is probably not fair to lay all the blame on dating apps, though. Sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections have been around as long as people have been having a sexual connection. The history of condoms and other options, interestingly enough, can be easily tracked back to cave paintings, as well as, Egyptian hieroglyphics. The aspect of Women's contraception delayed behind a few millennia, to mention the least. As a matter of fact, different contraception’s were not approved by the FDA until 1960.
On the other hand, if people have had access on some point to protection for so long, why are sexually transmitted diseases on the rise again and is it actually the dating apps that are increasing the rate? Considering the data – the CDC tracks the rate and number of STD cases, which mainly include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and chancroid from the 1940s to date.
The CDC data indicates that the increase in the number of STD cases can vary by hundreds each year. Considering the syphilis cases, for instance, the stats have been hitting all-time lows around the year 2000 with approximately 31,618 cases, and then increasing gradually since then. The rise has paralleled the growth of the Web and it has spread to more people through computers first and now Smartphones and dating apps. Health experts’ today blame various spikes on numerous factors, but it actually drops down to how many couples around are practicing safe sex or not.
Craigslist and Match.com appeared quickly after the internet became publicly available. However, Match was not the first ever online dating website. Earlier in the 60s, Operation Match went live on a 5ton system and tried to match people around.
E-Harmony showed up a few years later and then there was a myriad of other match-making sites for people who preferred meeting true love. The desire to meet someone has not changed, but dating apps today, have made this a lot easier and faster than ever. Accusing dating apps of the rise of Sexually Transmitted diseases is pretty much similar to blaming Facebook for an increase in bullying. Bullying practice has been around since humanity came into existence; the same is the case for sex and its related diseases.
The power of the Internet – and now the apps to use it in a number of different ways- indicates that a greater level of maturity and responsibility is needed as the technology advances, or else phenomenon like the jump in STDs can be one of the unintended outcomes.
The CDC states that those between the age of 13 and 64 should get themselves tested for HIV at least once in their lives, and it is highly recommended that the sexually active individuals get themselves screened for STDs annually.
Sexually transmitted infections present the most delicate dilemmas. In the UK, the U.S. and other parts of the world, the period between 2010 and 2013 notices a considerable spike in the number of STD cases. Determining why familiar terms like gonorrhea, Chlamydia and syphilis continue to rise has presented a rather intricate burden. After all, exploring the most intimate aspects of a person’s life is by no means convenient.
Health experts have noticed dramatically high rates of STDs and say dating apps and social media are partially to blame. However, there are various other factors such as individual behavior, drug and alcohol abuse etc. that affect an individual’s decision of practicing safe sex. These apps make it a lot easier to have casual encounters, however; the responsibility, eventually, falls with each individual to take responsibility for protected sex.