Lawmakers in California and Wisconsin are attempting to change the two state’s legislation to classify the intended removal of a condom during sexual intercourse with the partner’s full consent of the other partner as a form of rape.
California State Assembly member for District 58 Cristina Garcia is looking forward to making the definition of rape under California law include the coined-term stealthing to brand the willful act of removing condom with the sexual partner’s approval.
The Term ‘Stealthing’
“Stealthing is rape,” said Garcia presenting the bill on Monday. “Penetration without consent is rape.”
Likewise, Wisconsin Representative Melissa Sargent is considering the issue of consent in her bill that was also released on Monday, Sargent proposes, “Under the bill, if an actor removes a sexually protective device such as a condom before or during sexual intercourse or other sexual contact without his or her partner’s permission, there has been no valid consent to that sexual act.”
If the bills become law, they will raise awareness of the crime among law enforcement and the public. In a statement to NBC News, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department declared she was not familiar with the term coined ‘stealthing’, she said, “’Stealthing’ is a not a term we’re familiar with, so thanks for the explanation,” police spokesman Marc Lovicott wrote. “We have not investigated a case like that before.”
Sargent believed that the existence of a legal and spread definition of the term of such practice will enhance prosecutions and legal procedure for the crime, “The issue isn’t whether or not ‘stealthing’ is happening,” she wrote to NBC News, “it’s whether or not we’re going to do something about it.”
The practice depends on the consequences
On the other hand, legal experts asserted that the stress should be on the consequences of the practice if it caused pregnancy or sexual diseases as STD and Aids, rather than sexual partners’ consent.
Hence, Sherry Colb, professor of law and Charles Evans Hughes scholar at Cornell Law School, took to her blog to write a post that was published on Newsweek Magazine that if one partner has approved of a sexual intercourse consent, the law would not investigation into the matter whether the male genital organ was protected with a condom or not.
However, the approval of the other partner is mandatory and it is what determines whether it was rape or not, she wrote, “In some cases, the harm could potentially be arguably even worse than a sexual assault,” she wrote.
Alexandra Brodsky the researcher who published the study ‘Rape-Adjacent’: Imagining Legal Responses to Nonconsensual Condom Removal wrote in the study that stealthing is widespread, yet it was an unreported act, the practice promotes subjecting women sexually.