Gay and bisexual teens use Grindr for love and friendship, study shows

Grindr has become a hotspot for LGBTQ teens to find companionship and relationships. While this will hardly come as a surprise to anyone who has used the service, a recent study confirms what has been long anecdotally known: Grindr is a cornerstone of modern young gay life.

According to the a Northwestern University study, Grindr is especially favored by emerging gay and bisexual youth, particularly young men, who use the gay dating app to find both friends and romantic hookups. The findings were compiled through online surveys. Over two hundred sexually-experienced young men filled out data sheets for the study.

The paper, which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, described its demographic findings.

Over half of all gay teenage men between 14 and 17 use Grindr, Scruff, and other such apps.

Two factors are immediately apparent: first, as mentioned, gay youth use these apps to find more than just sex. Second, the minimum age of use for most gay dating apps (including Scruff and Grindr) is 18.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Kathryn Macapagal, an assistant professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine and the author of the study, said that “teens in this study were super excited that somebody was paying attention with what was going on in their lives and how these apps played a role in their sexual development and coming-out process.”

Macapagal added that “Youth who use these apps are, many times, also looking for partners on Facebook, Instagram, Tinder.”

She continued by saying that “If you’re using something like Grindr, the likelihood of you having a sexual relationship with this person is higher.”

However, post-romantic and post-sexual relationships endured in many cases: “So there is some evidence that youth are getting lots more out of these apps than just sexual relationships.” Additionally, users of these services are apparently more likely to make use of sexual health services, such as HIV testing.

Grindr responded to the story by telling the Tribune that they did not condone the improper use of their service by underage individuals.