Nonconsensual Condom Removal: How Common is “Stealthing?”

Nonconsensual Condom Removal: How Common is “Stealthing?”

In 2017, we added a new word to our sexual vocabulary: stealthing. A paper published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law defined it as “nonconsensual condom removal during sexual intercourse” and set off a flurry of media articles announcing it as a new “trend” in sexual behavior. However, we didn’t really have a good sense of the scope of the problem at that time because the original paper that called our attention to stealthing was based on interviews with a small number of victims. 

So just how many people have experienced stealthing anyway? A new study offers some insight.

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How Many Men Admit To Sexual Assault When Hooked Up To A Lie Detector?

How Many Men Admit To Sexual Assault When Hooked Up To A Lie Detector?

When comparing the number of women who say they’ve been sexually assaulted to the number of men who admit to perpetrating sexual assault, the numbers are highly discrepant. In fact, the number of self-identified female victims is about three times higher than the number of admitted male perpetrators. So why is that? Is it because a small number of men are committing a large number of sexual assaults? Or is it because men are underreporting their sexually aggressive behaviors? A recent study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence offers some support for the latter explanation. 

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Shifting Standards Of Sex: Whether A Given Behavior “Counts” As Sex Depends On Who Does It

Shifting Standards Of Sex: Whether A Given Behavior “Counts” As Sex Depends On Who Does It

You might think that it would be easy to define a term like sex—but it’s not. It turns out that different people have very different definitions, and they make all kinds of interesting distinctions. For example, some people only think that intercourse “counts” as sex if they have an orgasm. Further complicating matters is the fact that who’s participating in a given behavior influences what counts. Specifically, we seem to hold ourselves to different standards compared to other people.

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Why More Men In Hollywood Aren’t Speaking Out About Sexual Harassment of Women—And How We Can Change That

Why More Men In Hollywood Aren’t Speaking Out About Sexual Harassment of Women—And How We Can Change That

Dozens of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have surfaced in the last two weeks (see here for a complete list). These allegations have prompted several celebrities to speak out about the issue. However, many have noticed that the celebrities who have spoken out so far are disproportionately female, which has led many—including writer and director Lena Dunham in a NYT op-ed—to ask why the men of Hollywood have largely been silent.

Many different explanations have been offered. For example, Dunham suggests (among other things) that perhaps men don’t see it as being their problem. Others have argued that it reflects a broader culture of misogyny in Hollywood. While these factors might very well be playing a role, my training as a social psychologist points to a few other possibilities.

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America's College Rape Problem Is Real, But Not Everything You've Heard About It Is True

America's College Rape Problem Is Real, But Not Everything You've Heard About It Is True

We have a rape problem on college and university campuses throughout the United States--there is no denying or debating that. And correcting this problem should merit a lot of our time, attention, and resources. However, attempting to fix a problem like this is impossible if we don't approach it with an accurate understanding of its scope or causes. Unfortunately, it turns out that much of what we think we know about America's college rape problem is not an accurate reflection of the data.

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College Professor Told To Stop Teaching About Prostitution, Or Else

College Professor Told To Stop Teaching About Prostitution, Or Else

Dr. Patricia Adler, who teaches a popular course on the topic of deviance at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was recently warned by university administrators that she must stop giving her regular lecture on prostitution, or run the risk of being fired and losing her retirement benefits. Adler, who has reportedly given this lecture forty times over the last two decades, was stunned by this development, as were many college faculty members around the world, myself included.

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Are There More Sex Crimes On Halloween?

Every time Halloween rolls around, people start telling stories about “Halloween sadism,” or the practice of providing trick-or-treaters with tainted treats. Parents are told to be on the lookout for everything from razor blades in Reece Cups to cyanide-laced Good & Plenty. Despite how much we hear about Halloween sadism in the popular media, there has never been a substantiated case of death or serious injury linked to it. Nonetheless, the myth persists and it continues to frighten parents to this day. But this isn’t the only thing today’s parents are told to worry about on Halloween—they are also being told to watch out for sex offenders using costumes and candy to prey upon innocent children (here’s just one example of what the media is telling people, complete with creepy photoshopped image: Halloween Warning to Parents: Look for Sex Offenders). This concern has even prompted some states to pass laws regulating the activities of convicted sex offenders on Halloween. But is all of this worry about increased risk justified, or are we being fed another media myth?
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What Is A “Legitimate” Rape Anyway?

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” – Todd Akin, Republican Senate Candidate from Missouri

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably seen a ton of headlines over the past few days referencing Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin’s comments about rape. Akin’s remarks were asinine on multiple levels because not only is it patently offensive to suggest that some rapes are “legitimate” while others are not, but there is absolutely nothing to back up his provocative claim that women’s bodies have mechanisms in place to prevent rape-related pregnancies from occurring. In fact, research has actually found the opposite of what Akin suggested: specifically, the per-incident pregnancy rate is higher for rapes than it is for consensual sex.1

Although the Akin controversy has stoked a lot of public anger, the silver lining is that his remarks have prompted a public dialogue about sexual assault that we desperately need to have. I have read so many excellent articles this week that are providing some much-needed attention to this important issue. If I may add one small bit to this, I would like to talk briefly about the definition of rape and how the wide variability in legal definitions of this crime may be contributing to confusion about what rape is and distracting us from the bigger issues at stake here.

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Sex Question Friday: I Have Trouble Getting Physical Because of My Past. What Can I Do?

Sex Question Friday: I Have Trouble Getting Physical Because of My Past. What Can I Do?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader of the blog who is having issues expressing physical intimacy as a result of a previous sexual trauma.

I have a problem getting physical with anyone because of my past. I was molested and almost raped when I was younger and anytime I try to be physical with my partner, I start having a panic attack. Are there any studies about this kind of thing about a solution? It doesn’t help that my partner isn't as understanding as they should be, but I would really like to get past this. Thanks for any help you can offer.

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