[Note: This is the fourth chapter of my 2017 book, Cybertraps for Expecting Moms & Dads. It is available to paid subscribers of The Cybertraps Newsletter. The Introduction and Chapter One are available to all readers.]

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Even if you don’t view today’s hook-up culture as the full-blown “dating apocalypse” described by Vanity Fair, there is one geo-social cybertrap that should be of concern to anyone who uses a mobile dating app, and particularly to those who either are pregnant or are contemplating getting pregnant at some point in the future.

The Rise in Geo-Socially Transmitted Infections

Over the last several years, public health organizations around the world have been raising alarms about an increase in sexually-transmitted infections among users of geo-social dating apps. One of the earliest reports appeared in 2014, following an investigation by a team of researchers among gay app users in Los Angeles County. The authors concluded: “sexual health clinic MSM (“men having sex with men”) attendees who are meeting on GSN [geo-social networking] apps are at greater risk for gonorrhea and chlamydia than MSM attendees who meet in-person or on the Internet. Future interventions should explore the use of these novel technologies for testing promotion, prevention and education.” [4.1]

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