"Stealthing" Is Just Another Name for Sexual Assault

The concept of “stealthing” has been a hot topic in the news lately, with various media outlets describing it as a sort of “sex trend” where men remove a condom during sex without the consent of their female partners. Missing from many of these articles is a very important part of the discussion: stealthing is actually rape.

When a person consents to a sexual activity, she or he is only consenting to that specific sexual activity — not to any and all sexual activity. This makes sense on a basic, fundamental level: if you agree to kiss someone, for example, you are not agreeing to have sex with that person. Consent has to be specific to the sexual activity. If a person agrees to have sex with a condom, she or he is only agreeing to sex with a condom. If her or his partner sneakily removes the condom, that is rape.

Understanding the fundamentals of consent is critical to grasping why this so-called trend of “stealthing” is really sexual assault. Consent must be:



Based on Equal Power

A Choice


A Process

If you remove a condom without telling your partner, consent is none of those things. You do not have consent — you have rape. Full stop.

This practice may also represent a type of abuse known as reproductive coercion, where a man attempts to coerce a woman into becoming pregnant against her will. While reproductive coercion can take many forms, removing a condom during sex is one way that a man may try to get a woman pregnant when she does not want to be. In addition to being a form of sexual assault, we should also recognize “stealthing” as a way to abuse and control women through controlling their reproduction.

The way that much of the media has covered this “trend” has been disturbing, discussing it as though it were a preference rather than a form of assault and abuse. Let’s be clear: giving it a nickname like “stealthing” doesn’t make it any less abusive. Taking off a condom during sex without your partner’s consent is assault — and reporting it any other way is irresponsible journalism.

If you want to be part of our mission to support victims of crime and to end gender-based in our community, click here to learn more about how you can take action right here in Westmoreland County.

Learn More:

Sexual Assault

Blackburn 101: Reproductive Coercion

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#stealthing #sexualassault #Reproductivecoercion


Since 1976, Blackburn Center has been providing services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and other types of violence and crime in Westmoreland County, and presenting education programs across this community.  You can learn more about types of abuse, our services, or ways to get help if you are a victim of violence or crime.  All of our services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL, and can be ANONYMOUS.


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