Most young adults in India have little or no confidence in consent browsing and struggle to have conversations about it, a recent survey by dating app Tinder has found. Among respondents in Mumbai, 65% chose not to speak to their date/partner when their consent was violated.

Tinder, together with YouGov, conducted a perception survey of 1,018 young Indian adults (aged 18-30) in Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.

“Young adults are perhaps the only generation that has dated exclusively or for the majority of their love life in a way that is compatible with technology and platform. The question is whether this technology-enabled sociological shift has also changed the way this segment perceives, communicates and acts on consent in private contexts,” said Vithika Yadav, Country Head, Love Matters India.

Over 65% of respondents don’t know how to give consent, how to ask for it, or how to withdraw it when dating. Additionally, more than 50% don’t know what to do if their consent is violated. When asked about such situations, only one in four admitted to having told their partner about it and preferred to turn to a friend or seek resources online.

More than 60% of young adults reported that they are reluctant to explicitly ask for and give consent when they are with a date or partner, and 67% find it difficult to withdraw consent once it has been given.

70% of men revealed they struggle to communicate about consent, which the report says can lead to uncomfortable experiences for their partner and for themselves. Moreover, eight out of ten Indians have personally experienced or know someone who has experienced something uncomfortable being with someone.

Six in ten respondents revealed they would be hesitant to say no to a kiss while an almost equal number say they would be hesitant to reject intimate advances even if it made them feel uncomfortable.

According to the report, consent generally takes a back seat to avoid injury, conflict or awkwardness. 36% of respondents fear hurting the feelings of their partner/date, 34% themselves feel uncomfortable having such conversations and 31% fear not being liked. An equal number revealed not knowing how to say no.

“This confusion could possibly stem from a general shyness in communicating freely about intimacy, with 7 in 10 respondents hesitant to discuss their sexual fantasies with their date/partners,” the report said. One in two respondents were also unsure of interpreting signals during physical intimacy.

However, the report indicates that today, more and more young adults are aware of the need to discuss consent more openly and its importance in the dating space.

47% of respondents are primarily interested in learning how to give consent, and 40% want to know how to manage consent while meeting someone online.

Additionally, nearly 7 in 10 young Indians believe that consent should be discussed more openly with partners and even taught in schools and colleges. While six in ten seek more resources and safe spaces, both online and physical, with consent to be more educated in their personal environment.

83% of respondents in Mumbai think consent should be discussed more openly with partners.

Om Bhanushali, 19, a Tinder member from Mumbai, said: “I think it’s always good to talk about things up front. Previously, I used to take cues from non-verbal cues that can seriously backfire on me. But once I started discussing consent openly with my date, it made us more comfortable with each other.

Nearly 13% of respondents think dating apps should support consent awareness.

“Our conversations with Tinder members and the survey of young adults in India gave us insight into the compelling need to create safe spaces for conversations about boundaries and mutual respect, which are not often discussed in our company,” said Taru Kapoor, GM, Tinder & Match Group, India.

To encourage conversations around consent, Tinder is bringing back its “Let’s Talk Consent” initiative that launched last year in partnership with Yuvaa and Pink Legal, the company revealed in a statement. The platform also offers other security features such as video chat designed to facilitate a pre-IRL date, photo verification to ensure members are who they say they are, contact blocking and an updated reporting process.


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