Approaches to sampling gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men from geosocial-networking smartphone applications: A Methodological note

William C. Goedel, Forrest A. Brooks, Dustin T. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Geosocial-networking smartphone applications utilize global positioning system (GPS) technologies to connect users based on their physical proximity. Many gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have smartphones, and these new mobile technologies have generated quicker and easier modes for MSM to meet potential partners. In doing so, these technologies may facilitate a user's ability to have multiple concurrent partners, thereby increasing their risk for acquiring HIV or other sexually transmitted infections. Researchers have sought to recruit users of these applications (e.g., Grindr, Jack'd, Scruff) into HIV prevention studies, primarily through advertising on the application. Given that these advertisements often broadly targeted large urban areas, these approaches have generated samples that are not representative of the population of users of the given application in a given area. As such, we propose a method to generate a spatially representative sample of MSM via direct messaging on a given application using New York City and its geography as an example of this sampling and recruitment method. These methods can increase geographic representativeness and wider access to MSM who use geosocial-networking smartphone applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalSocial Sciences
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Geosocial-networking smartphone applications
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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