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“Stealthing” Is The Newest Form Of Rape On The Rise And The Law Is Not Up To Speed On It

The latest bedroom trend doesn’t have to do with a certain position or technique — and it’s not sexy at all.

The disturbing, nonconsensual trend is called “stealthing” and its rise is documented in a report by the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Lead author Alexandra Brodsky argues that “stealthing,” when a man secretly removes his condom in the middle of sex, is a form of sexual assault and should be treated as such.

Even more troubling is the online community Brodsky uncovered, where men encourage other men to “stealth” their partners. These perpetrators — both gay and straight — believe it’s a man’s right to “spread one’s seed.”

“One of my goals with the article, and in proposing a new statute, is to provide a vocabulary and create ways for people to talk about what is a really common experience that just is too often dismissed as just ‘bad sex’ instead of ‘violence,’” Brodsky told the Huffington Post.

The study opens with Rebecca, a doctoral student who works at a rape crisis hotline. Rebecca noticed she was receiving more and more calls about women being “stealthed.” (Rebecca said she had also experienced the same thing with an ex-boyfriend.)

“Their stories often start the same way,” Rebecca said. “’I’m not sure if this is rape, but…’” They all felt violated but “didn’t have the vocabulary” to figure out what was happening.

Not only does “stealthing” leave a victim vulnerable to pregnancy or STIs, it causes the same type of emotional, physical and financial harm that stems from other, more clearly defined, violent sex acts. One of the victims Brodsky interviewed for the report called the act “rape-adjacent.” Another victim described what happened with her partner as a “blatant violation of what we’d agree to.”

Brodsky concludes that since existing laws don’t necessarily cover “stealthing,” a new statute is the best bet for addressing something that too many people experience, but don’t know how to talk about.

“At its best, such a law would clearly respond to and affirm the harm victims report by making clear that ‘stealthing’ doesn’t just ‘feel violent’ — it is,” Brodsky writes in the report.

In January, a Swiss court convicted a man of rape after he took off his condom without telling his partner. The court concluded that the woman would have said no to sex if she knew the condom would be removed.

Source: New York Post

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