A Study of Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Abuse, and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men in a Sample of Geosocial-Networking Smartphone Application Users

Dustin T. Duncan, William C. Goedel, Christopher B. Stults, William J. Brady, Forrest A. Brooks, Jermaine S. Blakely, Daniel Hagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Geosocial-networking smartphone applications (“apps”) are widely used by gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and facilitate connections between users based on proximity and attraction. MSM have sexual encounters and relationships of varying degrees of emotional and physical intimacy with app-met individuals, potentially placing them at risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). The purpose of the current study was to utilize a geosocial-networking application to investigate relationships between experiences of IPV victimization as it relates to substance use and sexual risk behaviors in a sample of MSM. Participants (n = 175) were recruited by means of broadcast advertisements on an application widely used by MSM (Grindr) to seek sexual partners. Multivariable regression models were fit to examine associations between IPV, substance abuse, and sexual risk behaviors. Lifetime experiences of IPV victimization were common, where 37.7% of respondents reported having experienced at least one form of IPV. While a marginally significant positive association between IPV and substance abuse was detected in multivariable models (p =.095), individual forms of IPV were strongly associated with substance abuse. For example, sexual IPV victimization was associated with an increase in substance abuse in the preceding month (p =.004). Experiences of IPV victimization were associated with higher numbers of partners for both condomless receptive and insertive anal intercourse (p <.05). Given the relatively high prevalence of IPV victimization and its associations with substance abuse and sexual risk behaviors, these findings suggest that IPV screening and prevention programs may reduce substance abuse and sexual risk behaviors in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-301
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018



  • HIV
  • IPV
  • MSM
  • intimate partner violence
  • men who have sex with men
  • sexual risk behaviors
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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