By now, many of us have seen news reports about “stealthing.” This is a name given to the removal of a condom during sex, without a partners’ knowledge or consent. While many media outlets are portraying this as a trend, reproductive coercion and committing sexual activities beyond what a partner has consented to are not new.
Sexual entitlement – including forcing unprotected sex with one’s partner, disregarding their preferences and safety – is rooted in rape culture. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states “reproductive and sexual coercion involves behavior intended to maintain power and control in a relationship related to reproductive health by someone who is, was, or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship with an adult or adolescent. Reproductive coercion is related to behavior that interferes with contraception use and pregnancy.” While a person may consent to certain sexual activities (such as sex with a condom), this is not carte blanche for other activities (including unprotected sex.)
The best way to eliminate “stealthing” (and the next “trend” hyped by media outlets that is rooted in rape culture), is sex education and sexual violence prevention programs. Healthy sexuality is an important part of our lives and a goal for our culture. It involves developmentally-appropriate, empowering, honest, and respectful interactions that are free from coercion and violence. A culture rooted in healthy sexuality avoids shaming messages around sex, promotes knowledge and resources about safer sex, encourages enthusiastic consent, and respects sexual and gender diversity. LaFASA and our member programs work every day to end rape culture and promote a culture of consent.
If you are looking for prevention resources, information about sexual violence, or services for sexual violence survivors in Louisiana please, visit lafasa.org.
If you are interested in hosting a sexual violence prevention training for your community, contact our accredited member centers or LaFASA about presenting at your event.
Reproductive Coercion – ACOG Committee Opinion
Healthy Sexuality & Sexual Violence – NSVRC white paper