Oct 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

California bans "stealthing," nonconsensual condom removal

A person holds a condom.
Photo: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday signed a bill outlawing "stealthing," the nonconsensual removal of a condom during intercourse.

Why it matters: The move makes California the first state to ban the act, the New York Times reports.

Context: A Yale University study published in 2017 brought attention to stealthing and attempted to define it for the first time.

  • The paper called the act "a grave violation of dignity and autonomy."
  • One study in 2019 found that 12% of women had been a victim of stealthing and another study found that 10% of men admitted to committing stealthing.

What they're saying: "This law is the first of its kind in the nation, but I urge other states to follow in California’s direction and make it clear that stealthing is not just immoral but illegal," said Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, who sponsored the bill, which makes stealthing a civil sexual battery offense.

  • "More importantly, I encourage us all to not shy away from important conversations about consent in order to ensure we reduce the number of victims," Garcia added.
  • Newsom's office tweeted its support for the bill saying that this "[underlines] the importance of consent."
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