Participants’ most reported expectations were getting distracted (91.8%, n = 278), connecting with people with the same sexual orientation (86.5%, n = 262), having new sexual experiences (80.2%, n = 243), making new friends (79.9%, n = 242), and having a stable and romantic relationship (72%, n = 218). Most of the sample (98.7%, n = 299) reported that at least one of their sought expectations was fulfilled (Table 2). 2%, n = 143).
Shared and Sought Profile Characteristics
Table 2 presents the characteristics that participants reported sharing in their profile. The five most frequently shared characteristics on participants’ profiles were their age (92.1%, n = 279), photograph (77.6%, n = 235), gender identity (65.7%, n = 199), sexual role (62.0%, n = 188), and height (60.1%, n = 182). The characteristics often sought in other users’ profiles included their age (80.0%, n = 243), photograph (76.9%, n = 233), sexual role (62.0%, n = 188), the motives for meeting others in the app (43.6%, n = 132), and their height (38.0%, n = 115).
Regarding the characteristics of participants’ main profile picture, 4.3% (n = 13) reported not using any kind of picture. Of those who did (95.7%, n = 290), 44.2% (n = 134) indicated their photograph had only their face, 29.7% (n = 90) had both their face and body, 10.9% (n = 33) had a picture of only their body, 6.3% (n = 19) had an irrelevant picture, 3.0% (n = 9) had a picture of something important to them, 1.0% (n = 3) was a picture of him with other people, and 0.7% (n = 2) had a fake profile picture.
User Experiences, Social Support, and Discrimination
Table 3 details information about participants’ experiences using apps. Participants varied on the ratings of their overall experience as GSN apps users. 15.5% (n = 47) reported that their experience had been very or somewhat negative, 47.9% (n = 145) rated their experience as neutral (i.e., neither negative nor positive), and 36.6% (n = 111) reported that their experience had been very or somewhat positive.
Regarding social support, 28.7% (n = 87) of participants indicated that they had never received support from people met through apps, 28.4% (n = 86) reported that they had received it a few times, 31.7% (n = 96) sometimes, 9.2% (n = 28) a lot of times, and 2.0% (n = 6) always. When asked about the type of received support, 51.2% (n = 155) specified that they had received some kind of emotional support (e.g., demonstrations of acceptance, love, and empathy), 46.9% (n = 142) received advice and recommendations to solve problems, 36.3% (n = 110) indicated getting constructive criticism about a particular situation, and 12.2% (n = 37) received instrumental support such as money or services. When asked about the importance of the received support, 4.3% (n = 13) reported that it had not been at all important, 15.8% (n = 48) rated it as not being important, 18.8% (n = 57) indicated being indifferent about it, 28.4% (n = 86) rated it had been important, and 4.0% (n = 12) very important.
Regarding discrimination, 58.1% (n = 176) of participants reported having experienced some form of discrimination when using apps. Most of these respondents (n = 120, 39.6%) attributed weight or physical appearance as the reason behind the attack, followed by sexual orientation (n = 100, 33.0%), beliefs (i.e., political leaning, religious beliefs; n = 67, 22.1%), gender expression (n = 46, 15.2%), skin color (n = 41, 13.5%), nationality (n = 41, 13.5%), ethnicity (n = 35, 11.6%), and having a STI (n = 14, 4.6%). When asked about catfishing, a total of 121 (39.9%) participants reported knowing that someone created a fake profile under their name, 81 (26.7%) did not know if someone had done it, and the rest of the respondents (33.3%, n = 101) had never experienced this.