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The internet and sexual identity formation: comparing internet use before and after coming out

Szulc, Lukasz and Dhoest, Alexander (2013) The internet and sexual identity formation: comparing internet use before and after coming out. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 38 (4). pp. 347-365. ISSN 0341-2059

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Identification Number: 10.1515/commun-2013-0021

Abstract

Even in its early years, the Internet was recognized as a medium with great potential for lesbians, gay men, and bisexual individuals (LGBs), especially for LGB youths struggling with their sexual identity. Yet, Internet research related to coming out tends to focus on particular cases or Internet use before and during coming out. Consequently, as such research emphasizes the opportunities and positive aspects of the Internet for LGBs, it may lead to an overestimation of the importance of sexual identity in terms of LGB Internet use. Therefore, in this paper we explore the LGB-specific Internet use of a broad crosssection of the LGB community both before or during and after coming out. Our quantitative online survey and in-depth interviews show that LGBs use the Internet for LGB-oriented purposes less after coming out than before or during it. The results suggest that sexual identity becomes a less salient topic in terms of everyday Internet use after coming out.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/comm
Additional Information: © 2013 Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2018 17:30
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 01:45
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86930

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