Cell phone internet access, online sexual solicitation, partner seeking, and sexual risk behavior among adolescents

Arch Sex Behav. 2015 Apr;44(3):755-63. doi: 10.1007/s10508-014-0366-3. Epub 2014 Oct 25.


Online partner seeking is associated with sexual risk behavior among young adults (specifically men who have sex with men), but this association has yet to be explored among a probability sample of adolescents. Moreover, cell phone internet access and sexual risk taking online and offline have not been explored. A probability sample (N = 1,831) of Los Angeles Unified School District high school students was collected in 2011. Logistic regression models assessed relationships between specific sexual risk behaviors (online sexual solicitation, seeking partners online, sex with internet-met partners, condom use) and frequency of internet use, internet access points, and demographics. Students with cell phone internet access were more likely to report being solicited online for sex, being sexually active, and having sex with an internet-met partner. Bisexual-identifying students reported higher rates of being approached online for sex, being sexually active, and not using condoms at last sex. Gay, lesbian, and questioning (GLQ) students were more likely to report online partner seeking and unprotected sex at last sex with an internet-met partner. Additionally, having sex with an internet-met partner was associated with being male, online sexual solicitation, and online partner seeking. Internet- and school-based sexual health programs should incorporate safety messages regarding online sexual solicitation, seeking sex partners online, and engaging in safer sex practices with all partners. Programs must target adolescents of all sexual identities, as adolescents may not yet be "out," and bisexual and GLQ adolescents are more likely to engage in risky sex behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adult
  • Bisexuality
  • Cell Phone*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Risk
  • Risk-Taking
  • Safe Sex
  • Schools
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Students
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult