This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
It might not be a ‘new’ trend, but it’s (unfortunately) becoming popular enough that it just got branded with a new name. ‘Stealthing’, as it’s called, is when a man removes his condom during consensual sex, without telling the partner.
Not only can ‘stealthing’ lead to an increased risk of diseases and pregnancy, but it can be considered a form of sexual assault. In a recent report published by the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, researcher Alexandra Brodsky asserts ‘stealthing’ is a “grave violation of dignity and autonomy”.
Brodsky has been concerned with this ongoing trend for quite some time. In a 2013 interview with Huffington Post, she discusses her concern with these growing “violations.”
She noticed that many of her friends were sharing similar experiences and each were “struggling with forms of mistreatment by sexual partners that weren’t considered part of the recognized repertoire of gender based violence ― but that seemed rooted in the same misogyny and lack of respect,” she explained.
Brodksy, a Yale law student, found that the trend was discussed in a number of online communities. Not only would males discuss their rights to “spread his seed“, but members would encourage other members to ‘stealth’ as well.
By giving a name to the practice, Brodsky hopes that victims understand they can pursue legal action against their perpetrators.
“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,'” she explained.
Cases of ‘stealthing’ have expanded beyond the United States. There have been reports of “stealthing” in the UK, where it is illegal. Furthermore, just this year, a man in Switzerland was convicted of rape for ‘stealthing.’
It’s also worth nothing that, according to experts, ‘stealthing’ isn’t just a “male problem.”
“I’ve heard of women ‘stealthing’ too: compromising the effectiveness of condoms by piercing hard-to-notice holes through them with needles or otherwise secretly tampering with them, in an effort to trick a man into getting them pregnant,” said expert Alix Fox to Huffington Post.
Brodsky is offering support to survivors.
“Survivors experience real harms ― emotional, financial, and physical ― to which the law might provide remedy through compensation or simply an opportunity to be heard and validated,” she said.
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