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Dual-systems theorizing of behavior in social psychology assumes that human behaviors are a joint function of reflective and impulsive processes [35, 36], and each of these systems of processes may be implicated in the possible association between sexual scripts that are generated during online erotic chatting and sexual practices in real life.
One explanation, drawing on the role of reflective processes, is that in the course of the online chat actors decide or form an intention to engage in UAI [35, 36].
While their own qualitative research suggests that some MSM may engage in the sophisticated construction and interpretation of online profiles to mitigate HIV-transmission risk [29, 30], it is unclear how widespread this relying on online profiles is.
Furthermore, the noted filtering and serosorting through information in online profiles occurs outside of direct contact between potential sexual partners, and positions MSM who seek sexual partners online as perfectly rational actors.
Ross' thoughtful social theory analysis of sexuality and the Internet provides valuable insights that inform our theorizing of the potential association between online chatting and sexual risk-taking among MSM .
According to Ross, the Internet provides a sexual space midway between fantasy and action that enables experimenting with sexual behavior by ‘engaging in it online and with another person without actually “doing” it’ [1, p. The author further suggests that the expression of desires in semi-hypothetical online interactions can be seen as an externalizing of sexual fantasy .
This decision may reflect additional, risk-relevant information men have exchanged and/or the accelerated intimacy and rapid development of trust afforded by the sharing of intimate details in online chatting [1,6].
Another explanation, drawing on the role of impulsive processes, is that UAI in real life can be implicitly produced by the sexual scripts, without intending to enact it, through the automatic activation of behavioral schemata [35, 36].
These findings suggest that, while MSM may not go online to seek UAI, some engage in online fantasizing about UAI that is associated with possible sexual risk-taking.An online survey of 2058 MSM in France included assessments of UAI with partners met online, responses to erotic chatting about UAI, intentions to use condoms, attitudes regarding UAI, practicing UAI with casual partners, alcohol and drug use with sex and biographical characteristics.