teen online dating boy

Therapist Training Series: Teen Online Dating

Written by
Tracy Markle, MA, LPC &
Dr. Brett Kennedy, Psy.D.

This is part two of our therapist training series on true digital natives. The first people in history born into an established, online, social structure. Thanks to the internet and social media, the rituals and unspoken social rules around family, friendship, and dating are changing in their wake. As therapists, we have a lot of catching up to do if we are to serve them effectively.

Today’s teenagers are coming of age at time when the most popular way for heterosexual couples to meet is online.1 And, while many teens only feel comfortable using social media to vet or flirt with people they know offline, others are using the internet to locate and meet romantic partners they otherwise wouldn’t. For teens who are geographically or socially isolated from peers, the internet can be a positive resource. But it also comes with its own set of risks. Digital technology leaves teenagers vulnerable to stalking, abuse, and bullying. Which can happen in relationships with strangers or with someone they know well. While adults might want to ban teenagers from meeting partners online, a harm reduction approach is often more effective. As therapists, we must maintain open communication with teens, and reserve judgment of these online platforms while familiarizing ourselves with them so we can support teens in being as safe as possible. Read on to learn.

Table of Contents

How Prevalent is Teen Online Dating?

Teens spend large portions of their time online, but little research has been done to learn how they flirt and meet romantic partners there.2 The only large-scale study of US teens’ online dating lives that we could locate was performed in 2016 (and published in 2017).3 Unfortunately, only the youngest teens in this study—the 13- and 14-year-olds— fit our definition of true digital natives. Today, they are eighteen and nineteen. Still, through the results of this study, we can speculate about some of the trends that continue with true digital natives; those kids born in 2002 or later, or within five years of the first iPhone launch or later.

The 2016 study, called TECHsex, triangulated data from a quantitative national survey of 1500 Americans ages 13 to 24 with 12 qualitative focus groups of 66 youth, half of which were groups of teens under 18-years-old. This was done to “document youth information-seeking and sexual health building behaviors online” by understanding “the experiences and desires of young people as they navigate their sexual relationships through social media, online chatting, and online dating.” The average age of survey respondents was 19.7 years old and 22.4%, or 336 of them, were younger than eighteen.

Here’s what that study found.

  • Young people are using the internet to begin sexual relationships with others, including dating, online flirting, and hooking up, particularly in areas where access to peers is limited
  • Despite the fact that dating sites have explicit rules against minor use, youth ages 13 to 17 are using them to make friends and begin romantic relationships, albeit at a lower rate than those 18 to 24 (19.0% of underage vs 37.8% of 18- to 24-year-olds)
  • 44.78% of underage teens who used online dating sites met up with someone in person
  • Although use of dating websites or dating apps is somewhat high, more youth turn to social media for online dating
  • Social media played an important role in vetting potential partners and beginning romantic relationships
  • Digital flirting was cited as the entry point for hooking up and dating.
  • Youth flirt on social media with friends of friends and can discover other people of interest by looking through the friend lists of people they already know
  • Digital flirting often takes the form of comments, private messaging, heart-shaped or innuendo emojis (i.e. the eggplant or water squirt emoji), or liking someone’s photos on social media. It can also occur in more private areas online, like in direct messaging.
  • Young women were most likely to send messages to flirt with someone
  • Young men were likely to like someone’s photos
  • Transgender-spectrum youth were most likely to follow or friend someone
  • In many ways, digital flirting or adding a relationship status to your social media account has become an assumed step in the process of meeting and dating someone.
  • Researchers may be neglecting to include social media as potential sources of youth hookup culture and dating.
Few studies have focused specifically on the use of online dating websites among youth younger than 18 years; instead, most studies have either focused on the victimization of minors online and the moral panics around youth sexuality and new media use or have relied on a monolithic description of youth that fails to consider developmental differences among ages in regard to sexual health research. — TECHSex: Youth Sexuality and Health Online Report (2017)

At the time of the TECHsex study in 2016, there were already signs of the digital divide emerging between true digital natives (the 13- and 14-year-old participants) and older participants. One participant over the age of 18 from Birmingham, Alabama is quoted as saying, “Um okay so, flirting has gone from a simple poke on Facebook to like a blow-up of your DM [direct messages] and Instagram. Like, it has dramatically changed, but at the same time I don’t understand it all…”

Another Birmingham participant who was under 18 had this to say, “Like with emojis I feel like sometimes people read too deep into those. Each emoji should come with a paragraph stating what my emoji means.”

Teen Dating on Social Media – Snapchat & Instagram

In the TECHsex study, the majority of focus group participants had experience with flirting on social media. The most popular social media platforms were Snapchat and Instagram. For older participants, Facebook was still relatively popular, but participants under 18 did not like Facebook. Another sign of the digital divide forming between true digital natives and older youth.

Participants explained that they usually looked through their extended social media networks (friends of friends) to find people with whom to flirt. For some, that could potentially lead to a sexual encounter. Being behind a screen allowed them to approach someone with more confidence.

Researchers noted that flirting on social media in 2016 looked very different from flirting on Facebook when it first surfaced nine years earlier. Since social media platforms had introduced so many new ways for users to connect, some of the study’s participants felt like they couldn’t keep up with the changes. Online flirting now more than ever required one to read between the lines. “The need to understand someone’s intention as flirtatious or friendly can be very consuming for youth,” the study says. “Digital flirting requires always having to navigate the rules, what things mean, and what the flirting can lead to.”

In other words, if you’re an adult and you think you’re on top of the social rituals of true digital natives, think again. Even youth a few years older had no idea what they were doing.

Teen Dating on Social Media: Discord

A 2021 semi-annual survey of over 10,000 US teens found that Discord is the 4th most popular social media platform, above Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Reddit.4 Albeit way below top three Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram, which are pretty much neck and neck (and neck), depending on when you ask. Anecdotally, over the past year, a growing number of subreddits have begun prominently displaying announcements at the tops of their feeds beckoning visitors to join their Discord server. A sure sign that Discord usership is growing beyond teenagers and gamers.
Teenagers look to social media to find romantic partners.

Teenagers look to social media to find romantic partners.

For LGBTQ+ teens and others who feel marginalized, the internet is a place to find community and love.

Discord was one of the first apps to successfully tap into the social aspect of gaming, emerging in 2015 as a communication platform for gamers, with text and voice chat capabilities far superior to what existed at the time. We’ll dive more deeply into online gaming’s role in the social rituals of true digital natives in a future article. For now, it’s important to realize that true digital natives seamlessly combine their online play with their online socializing, as humans have done in the offline world for millennia. If you’ve ever joined a sports team or running club to make friends and widen your social circle, the premise here is the same. Just digital.

Originally, Discord was created so gamers could host online rooms called servers where they and their friends could privately communicate with one another through text or audio while playing their favorite video games. Discord users could also create a public server and open it to anyone interested in playing a shared game and chatting while doing it.

In 2017, Discord added video calling and screen sharing to the platform. Over the years, it’s also added integrations with Twitch, a popular video streaming platform for gamers, music DJ’s, and vloggers. Integrations with Spotify, a popular music and spodcast streaming platform. And integrations with Xbox Live, (now called the Xbox network), the first product to successfully bring voice chat to home, gaming consoles.

As the platform grew, people began creating servers around all kinds of topics beyond gaming. In 2020, teachers began creating Discord servers to meet with students who were schooling from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Discord responded by creating educational tools for them and, most recently, by creating school hubs where students can log on to Discord with their school email address to connect with other members of their school.

Teen online dating - Discord student hubs
In 2021, Discord introduced student hubs for most schools
in Australia and to colleges in the USA and Canada.
By May of 2021, according to Discord Co-founder and CEO Jason Citron, there were more than 19 million active servers on Discord with over 150 million monthly visitors.5 “Discord has become a place for study groups, karaoke nights, plant parenting advice, learning about cryptocurrencies, and simply a place to talk and hang out with your people whoever they are,” Citron wrote in an article on the company blog entitled, “How We’re Making Discord More Welcoming for Everyone”.
With all of this human interaction taking place, it’s not surprising that servers popped up for the express purpose of helping users locate potential love interests. That over 700 of them are tagged for teenagers is probably less expected.6 Especially since Discord executives say it’s against the platform’s rules.

In a 2019 interview with Medium tech and science news publication OneZero, Discord’s then Director of Trust and Safety Sean Li said teen dating servers fall outside of Discord’s guidelines because “they are likely to lead to activities that violate our Terms of Service.” 7

But at the time of this writing, there are 749 public Discord servers tagged “teen-dating” and 2552 servers with both “teen” and “dating” tags on them. The largest has 2922 members at the time of this writing. On it, teens post selfies to verify their gender which grants them posting privileges. Users can take part in text, audio or video chat and even share their screens.

In another teen dating server on Discord, teenagers post their Instagram and Snapchat details so users can view and contact them on those platforms.

Since there’s no way for server moderators to authentically verify the age of people on their servers, it’s crucial that adults are familiar with Discord and what teens are doing there.

Teen Perceptions of Geosocial Networking Apps i.e., “Hookup Apps”​

While social media was endorsed by the majority of the TECHsex study’s participants as a tool for furthering romantic pursuits, online dating apps and websites received a much more mixed response. The report states that dating apps were perceived by participants as riskier platforms full of “catfishing” (fraudulent accounts created to prank or even assault others, nicknamed after the 2010 documentary “Catfish” and subsequent MTV reality series of the same name.) Or people looking to “hook-up” (meet for casual sex). Especially by the under 18 participants.

However, a few subgroups of teenagers who agreed that dating platforms designed for adults can be riskier, still used them.

“Focus group participants shared stories of friends being catfished and attacked, sometimes resulting in assault and rape. This was particularly true for participants who identified within sexual and gender minority communities,” the report says.

But why would teenagers put themselves at such risk? Is it just good old-fashioned, rebellion? Not quite.

Newsflash: Teens Use Hookup Apps Because Adults Use Hookup Apps​

The reality is that today’s teenagers are simply engaging in an established social norm. In 2013, for the first time since the end of WWII, meeting online became the most popular way for US heterosexuals to find a spouse, domestic partner, or long-term partner.8 Perhaps more than any other trend covered in this series, this speaks to the absolute societal paradigm shift in which today’s teenagers and children are being raised. And how quickly that shift happened. According to the 2019 report, “Disintermediating your friends: How online dating in the United States displaces other ways of meeting,” researchers share, “in 2009, meeting through friends was by far the most common way heterosexual couples met, and this had been true for 60 years since the immediate post World War II period. Since 2009, however, meeting through friends has declined sharply, and meeting online has continued to grow. As a result of the decline in meeting through friends and the rise in meeting online, heterosexual couples in the U.S. are now much more likely to meet online than to meet any other way.” The researchers go on to distinguish 2013 as the year that meeting online surpassed meeting through friends. But why did meeting through friends see such a sharp, rapid decline in just four years? And why did online dating grow enough to surpass it in that same time period? After all, Match.com had been around since 1995 and OkCupid since 2004.
The study’s authors say that while the online dating market began in 1995 thanks to the introduction of the first popular graphical web browsers, Netscape and Internet Explorer, which were introduced in 1994 and 1995 respectively, growth had stagnated by 2005. The percentage of US heterosexual couples meeting online grew from zero in 1994 to 22% in 2005 and stayed that way through 2009.9
Infographic: How Couples Met | Statista

Dating from a desktop could only go so far.

As we mentioned in the first installment of this series on true digital natives, the digital social structure we have in place today couldn’t be mainstreamed until the advent of the iPhone and the App Store.

The iPhone, with its innovative touchscreen technology allowed people who knew nothing about computer programming to not only access the internet but carry it in their pockets. And the App Store gave developers a way to funnel a barrage of social media apps into people’s hands.

In the case of mobile dating apps, people were able to receive messages from would-be suitors at work, in bars, literally anywhere they went. And that’s when online dating became truly integrated into our society.

In 2013, for the first time since the end of WWII, meeting online became the most popular way for US heterosexuals to find a spouse, domestic partner, or long-term partner. Perhaps more than any other trend we’ll cover in this series, this speaks to the absolute societal paradigm shift in which today’s teenagers and children are being raised. And how abruptly that shift is happening.

Enter Grindr. The gay men’s dating app, launched in 2009, that changed the way much of the world dates.

Desktop websites like Match.com and OKCupid only showed users based on self-reported data about where they lived. Grindr took advantage of the geolocational technology in smartphones to show users in the immediate vicinity in real time, without giving away their exact location. In smaller towns that could be a mile or two, and in dense, urban areas it could be a matter of feet.

Teen Online Dating Grindr
A post on the Grindr blog plays off the app's revolutionary geosocial networking feature which tells the user about prospective partners within close proximity.
No one had ever used geolocational technology in a dating app. It was a watershed moment for dating in the US and many other parts of the world and Grindr launched to historic success.10 For the gay community, the ability to discreetly find viable partners in close proximity was invaluable. Grindr spawned dozens of copycat apps, many of which enjoy varying degrees of success to this day. But Grindr remains the most popular app for gay men in the US and many other parts of the world. By tapping into the advantages mobile applications have over websites, Grindr did more than revolutionize gay culture. It ushered in a sea change for all people who date and a new category of social media was born—the geosocial networking application.
In 2012, a new geosocial networking application called Tinder launched for the more heteronormative set.11 In addition to matching users based on proximity, Tinder pioneered and patented an interface in which users could quickly swipe right on someone’s profile if they were interested or swipe left if they weren’t. 12
If two people both swiped right on each other, Tinder called it a match and allowed them to chat through the app. This, says the website Business of Apps, fundamentally changed online dating by removing the seriousness and giving users more control.13 Tinder also required users to sign up through their Facebook accounts and other users could see if they had any mutual friends. From the start, Tinder dominated the US dating app market.14 In 2013, the app launched on Android.15 The same year researchers say meeting online surpassed meeting through friends for US straight couples.

Teen Online Dating Terms to Know

Geosocial networking application - A smartphone application that uses the location services of the phone to connect the user with others in the vicinity.

Hookup Culture- A culture accepting of casual or non-committed sexual encounters. "Hooking up" can include anything from kissing to sex.

Hookup Apps - A colloquial term for geosocial networking apps. The term evolved because of the apps' ability to facilitate casual sexual encounters. Geosocial networking apps have been blamed in the media for a so-called rise in hookup culture although research shows that hookup culture began to emerge as early as the 1920's with the advent of the automobile.16 It's likely geosocial networking apps are more responsible for moving hookup culture online than they are for facilitating it altogether.

Teen Dating on Hookup Apps: Tinder​

When Tinder launched in 2012, it had the same minimum age requirement as Facebook: 13. Just 17 months after launch, a 2014 Time interview with two of Tinder’s cofounders, Sean Rad and Justin Mateen, reported that 7% of Tinder’s then user base was between 13 and 17.17
If 7% sounds relatively small, consider that, today, no single age group comprises more than 19% of Tinder’s US users.18 In 2015, one month after a Washington Post story reported that teenagers find Facebook “meaningless”, Tinder announced a new integration with Instagram, a social media app owned by Facebook that had replaced Facebook in popularity with teens.19,20 Users could now have their most recent Instagram photos displayed on their Tinder profiles and other Tinder users could visit their Instagram account. Whether this positioned Instagram as a place for dating in the minds of teens or teens gave the idea to Instagram, we don’t know. But the end result is that Instagram is still the place where most teens go to flirt, and more.
Teen Online Dating-Tinder
In February of 2015, a story in the Washington Post quoted a teenager who called Facebook
"meaningless" and showed that only 45% of teenagers used Facebook while 76% used Instagram. Two months later, Tinder announced a new integration with Instagram.
In June of 2016, after immense public pressure, Tinder banned users under 18.21 (Bumble, a competitor app launched by one of Tinder’s co-founders, also launched with a minimum age requirement of 13 and raised it to 18 in 2016.)22 But the move didn’t stop teens from using the app.23 Underage teens are still recorded in surveys, news articles and on social media claiming to use Tinder.
Teen online dating - Tinder
A 13-year-old Redditor asks for advice with a crush who's on Tinder.

Teen Dating on Hookup Apps: Grindr

The success of the iPhone and Grindr coincided with a profound change in the way gay men meet partners for sex, friendship and more. No one has documented a direct correlation, but as many as 37% of US gay bars shut down from 2007, the year the iPhone launched, to 2019.24 At the same time, Grindr grew an estimated 2400% between its launch in 2009 and 2017.25 At the beginning of 2021, Grindr reported there were, “nearly 13 million gay, bi, trans & queer folks who use our app each month.” 26 Given that Grindr and subsequent geosocial networking apps commonly referred to as “hook-up apps” are such a big part of gay culture today, it has become something of a foregone conclusion that queer teens must utilize them if they ever hope to discover their sexuality. Two studies have looked specifically at the prevalence and use patterns of adult-aimed apps among gay, bisexual, queer or questioning youth assigned male at birth (AMAB).
An online survey was conducted from 2016 to 2017 with 200, US 14- to 17-year-olds AMAB who identified as gay, bisexual, queer, or questioning/unsure.27 The survey revealed that 52.5% used hook-up apps aimed specifically at adult men who have sex with men (MSM) to meet partners for sex. Of those, 97% used Grindr. Another online survey conducted in 2018 with 219, US 15-17-year-olds AMAB who identified as sexual or gender minorities revealed that 70.3% used geosocial networking apps aimed at sexual minority men.28 Of those, 66.1% reported exclusively using Grindr. 27.7% reported using multiple gay/bi/queer (GBQ) apps (typically Grindr, plus one or more other apps, most frequently Scruff and Hornet). The remaining 6.2% reported using only one of the several other GBQ-apps (e.g., Growlr and BRO were each mentioned by 1–2% of participants).

While many queer teens are using Grindr and other hook-up apps, others are speaking out against the practice.

The podcast “Teenager Therapy,” which is hosted by five California teenagers, two of whom identify as gay, produced a series of episodes for Gay Pride Month in 2021 called #swipingsafely. In it, gay teens discuss the reasons teenagers use apps like Grindr, they share their personal experiences on hookup apps, and they seek advice from mental health professionals.

Here’s a clip of co-hosts Gael & Thomas summarizing why they think queer teenagers might use hookup apps.

GAEL: Um we did a survey and we got around, like, 100 responses about ‘Why did you go on these apps?’ And the number one thing was validation. Like 78 of teenagers that answered our survey said validation was the main reason for going on these apps. And so, people are going to these apps for validation. Which is upsetting because, I guess maybe they just don’t feel validated by anyone else. Like, no one tells them that they’re attractive or they’re worthy of being loved. That, you know, they like have a crush on them. I think that people are desperate for that validation, right? Thomas: Yeah, I mean, it just would feel nice knowing that there are people who would find you desirable because you wouldn’t know that otherwise. In school there is probably, what? Three gay guys, um, total? And, like, you’re not interested in any of them. And they’re not interested in you and that’s okay, but you’re never validated. And you’re just not liked, I guess.

A slideshow posted by Teenager Therapy on their Twitter feed to promote their #SwipingSafely series on gay teens using hookup apps like Grindr.

How Adults Can Support and Protect Teens Dating Online

Teenagers in the US and many other countries face a dearth of resources for fact-based sex education as well as a lack of healthy opportunities to explore their budding sexuality. This problem is compounded exponentially for LGBTQ+ youth who often face discrimination and judgment even from their peers.

Realizing that teenagers are seeking love, validation, and even sex on the internet is disconcerting for many adults. It’s tempting for parents to respond with authoritarian punishments in an attempt to control the situation.

But children raised with authoritarian parenting styles are more likely to engage in escapist behaviors like screens, digital media applications, and substances. They’re also more at risk for suicide.

As therapists, we can help establish ongoing, open communication with the youth we serve about these digital spaces, as well as help their families to have these dialogues with them.

With many of the families we treat, we find that lack of communication is a common factor. One of the main skills we can help them develop is effective communication, such as learning how to validate.

But first we have to help parents learn to emotionally regulate their own overwhelm, fatigue, anger, and frustration with their child so they can utilize the skills we teach them. As they begin to incorporate these skills, they begin to see a way forward and to connecting with their child on this issue.

Resources to Learn More About Online Teen Dating​


1. Rosenfeld, M. J., Thomas, R. J., & Hausen, S. (2019). Disintermediating your friends: How online dating in the United States displaces other ways of meeting. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(36), 17753–17758. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1908630116.

2. Media Use by Tweens and Teens 2019: Infographic (2019, October 28). Common Sense Media. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/Media-use-by-tweens-and-teens-2019-infographic

3. Lykens, J., Pilloton, M., Silva, C., Schlamm, E., & Sheoran, B. (2017, February 15). TECHsex 2017: Youth Sexuality and Health Online. YTH. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://yth.org/projects/ythtechsex/

4. Piper Sandler. (2021, April). Taking Stock With Teens: 20+ Years Of Researching U.S. Teens GenZ Insights SPRING 2021 (pdf). https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiv6bPBuLbzAhXQgGoFHdhbAdkQFnoECAIQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.deca.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F09%2FTaking-Stock-with-Teens-Spring-2021-Results.pdf

5. Citron, J. (2021, May 12). How We’re Making Discord More Welcoming for Everyone. Discord.Com. https://discord.com/blog/how-were-making-discord-more-welcoming-for-everyone

6. Source: Disboards.com October 11, 2021

7. Winkie, L. (2019, November 4). Teens Are Running Illicit Dating Channels on Discord. Medium. Retrieved October 9, 2021, from https://onezero.medium.com/despite-strict-ban-discord-is-a-hub-for-potentially-dangerous-underage-dating-6749383f5e90

8. Rosenfeld, M. J., Thomas, R. J., & Hausen, S. (2019). Disintermediating your friends: How online dating in the United States displaces other ways of meeting. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(36), 17753–17758. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1908630116.

9. Rosenfeld, M. J., & Thomas, R. J. (2012). Searching for a Mate. American Sociological Review, 77(4), 523–547. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122412448050

10. Kincaid, J. (2009, March 25). Gay Dating Makes Its Way To The iPhone. Techcrunch. https://techcrunch.com/2009/03/25/gay-dating-makes-its-way-to-the-iphone/

11.About Tinder. (2021, February 28). Tinder Newsroom. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://www.tinderpressroom.com/about

12. Rad, S. (2008, December 19). Matching process system and method. Google Patents. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://patents.google.com/patent/US9733811

13. Curry, D. (2021, September 21). Dating App Revenue and Usage Statistics (2021). Business of Apps. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.businessofapps.com/data/dating-app-market/

14. Iqbal, M. (2021, September 21). Tinder Revenue and Usage Statistics (2021). Business of Apps. https://www.businessofapps.com/data/tinder-statistics/

15. Tinder. (2013, July 16). Tinder Is Now Available On Android. PR Newswire. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tinder-is-now-available-on-android-215709691.html

16. My Score. (2013, October 6). Snapchat.com; Snap Inc. https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/a/my-score

17. Stampler, L. (2014, February 6). Inside Tinder: Meet the Guys Who Turned Dating Into an Addiction. Time. https://time.com/4837/tinder-meet-the-guys-who-turned-dating-into-an-addiction/
Statista. (2021, January 27).

18. Tinder usage reach in the United States 2020, by age group. https://www.statista.com/statistics/814698/share-of-us-internet-users-who-use-tinder-by-age/

19. Lang, N. (2015, February 21). Why teens are leaving Facebook: It’s ‘meaningless.’ Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/02/21/why-teens-are-leaving-facebook-its-meaningless/ Tinder Newsroom. (2015, April 15). 20. Tinder Newsroom. (2015, April 15). We Just Revamped Your Tinder Profile. https://www.tinderpressroom.com/we-just-revamped-your-tinder-profile

21. Chen, A. (2016, June 9). Tinder Bans Most Teens. Gizmodo. https://gizmodo.com/tinder-gets-nervous-about-responsibility-makes-app-1-1781481492

22. Fox, E. J. (2016, January 13). Why Was Bumble Trying to Match People with Underage Users? Vanity Fair. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/01/bumble-app-underage-users

23. Francis, L. (2020, February 11). Tinder Dating Among Teens: When Swipe-Right Culture Goes to High School. Fatherly. https://www.fatherly.com/love-money/tinder-dating-teens-use-app-for-sex-relationships/

24. Mattson, G. (2019). Are Gay Bars Closing? Using Business Listings to Infer Rates of Gay Bar Closure in the United States, 1977–2019. Socius. https://doi.org/10.1177/2378023119894832

25. Dating Sites Reviews. (2017). Grindr Information, Statistics, Facts and History Dating Sites Reviews. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from https://www.datingsitesreviews.com/staticpages/index.php?page=grindr-statistics-facts-history#ref-ODS-Grindr-2019-5

26. Elizondo, R. (2021, January 26). Grindr Unwrapped: a Snapshot of Sex & Dating on Grindr in 2020. Grindr Blog. https://blog.grindr.com/blog/grindr-unwrapped-2020

27. Macapagal, K., Moskowitz, D. A., Li, D. H., Carrión, A., Bettin, E., Fisher, C. B., & Mustanski, B. (2018). Hookup App Use, Sexual Behavior, and Sexual Health Among Adolescent Men Who Have Sex With Men in the United States. Journal of Adolescent Health, 62(6), 708–715. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.01.001https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5967650/

28. Macapagal, K., Kraus, A., Moskowitz, D. A., & Birnholtz, J. (2019). Geosocial Networking Application Use, Characteristics of App-Met Sexual Partners, and Sexual Behavior Among Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents Assigned Male at Birth. The Journal of Sex Research, 57(8), 1078–1087. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2019.1698004