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Start Date

16-8-2018 12:00 AM

Description

Discussing sexual health issues (e.g., erectile dysfunction and STDs) may be more stigmatized than other types of health issues. This might be especially true for men as such issues may be perceived as physical weaknesses. Online support communities (OSC) may provide men a comfortable environment where they can discuss and seek help about such intimate issues. Guided by social exchange theory, we propose a cost-benefit framework that could capture the mechanism of sexual health information disclosure in OSC. We examine men’s subjective evaluation of costs (privacy concerns and social disapproval) and benefits (online social support and reciprocity) associated with disclosing sexual health issues. Additionally, we examine how technological affordances (text-based communication and anonymity) influence this cost-benefit analysis. We hope to advance the understanding on men’s online self-disclosure behavior as well as influential factors that predict disclosure of sexual health issues in OSC.

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Disclosure of Stigmatized Sexual Health Issues in Online Support Communities

Discussing sexual health issues (e.g., erectile dysfunction and STDs) may be more stigmatized than other types of health issues. This might be especially true for men as such issues may be perceived as physical weaknesses. Online support communities (OSC) may provide men a comfortable environment where they can discuss and seek help about such intimate issues. Guided by social exchange theory, we propose a cost-benefit framework that could capture the mechanism of sexual health information disclosure in OSC. We examine men’s subjective evaluation of costs (privacy concerns and social disapproval) and benefits (online social support and reciprocity) associated with disclosing sexual health issues. Additionally, we examine how technological affordances (text-based communication and anonymity) influence this cost-benefit analysis. We hope to advance the understanding on men’s online self-disclosure behavior as well as influential factors that predict disclosure of sexual health issues in OSC.