Majority of Indian adults ignorant about consent in relationship: Tinder survey

Updated on Sep 05, 2022 04:08 PM IST

The survey says that over 65% of respondents don’t know how to ask, give or withdraw consent when dating someone.

Tinder is one of the leading online dating platforms.(Unsplash)
Tinder is one of the leading online dating platforms.(Unsplash)
By | Edited by Aryan Prakash

A recent survey by dating app Tinder has revealed that the majority of young adults in India are ignorant about the importance of taking consent of their partner with whom they are in a relationship. To promote the importance of taking permission and discourage taking unilateral decisions, Tinder has relaunched its ‘Let’s Talk Consent’ initiative for safe dating.

A worrying survey

The survey conducted on over 1,000 people (18-30 age group) in Indian metro cities points towards concerning state, estimating that over 65% of respondents don’t know how to ask, give or withdraw consent when dating someone. The situation turns precarious as the survey shows that half of them do not have knowledge of what to do if their consent is violated.

When asked about situations when their consent was violated, only one out of four admitted to speaking to their date/partner about it and preferred turning to a friend and looking for resources online, illustrating the need for continuous dialogue on this subject.

Taru Kapoor, the general manager of Tinder and Match Group, India says “In India it is such a taboo that we don’t discuss intimacy, consent, or how to deal in a relationship. In today’s world, it’s even more important because it’s online and offline, there is an issue of understanding and there are personal boundaries… lack of open communication is a big issue.”

Rise in cases of abuse on social media platforms

People shifting to the virtual medium have also seen cyber crimes increasing exponentially and most of it is directed towards women which includes cyber blackmailing, pornography, posting obscene sexual materials, cyber stalking and creation of fake profiles. According to recently released ‘Crime in India’ report by National Crime Records Bureau, cyber crimes have increased in 2021 than the previous years, a 28% increase in cases than those reported in 2019.

Apart from awareness campaigns, it warrants the need of special features in the online platforms itself to curb this concerning rise.

On this, Kapoor accepts that a lot of unsolicited attention is received by women and marginalised groups, but unlike other social media platforms, Tinder is one-to-one platform. “Although we do not have any features specifically dealing with the initiative because consent is not a feature, we have a safety feature called ‘my move’ . I can go in and decide whether I want to message as a woman. If I toggle the feature on, then the match can only become active if I message first. We want to give choices to users.” The survey of Tinder shows that 70% of men struggle to communicate about consent, which can lead to uncomfortable experiences for their partners.

On democratisation of love

Dating apps are often criticised for not incorporating human essence in their product, and their algorithm is accused of possessing biases. The Tinder official dispelled the accusation of any such biases or having any role in figuring out who will be matched with whom. “The more you use Tinder, the more we come to know what you like, what kind of people you swipe right on and so we will try to show you more of those people so that’s how the algorithm learns overtime,” Kapoor mentions.

She says that a little bit of randomness is preserved which creates serendipity, but it’s a mystery what creates chemistry and spark among humans. “We are just facilitators so that first ‘hey’ can happen, then it’s human instinct that takes over.”

To garner support for the initiative on online platforms, Tinder has made a short film titled “We Need To Talk”. They say that this will be followed by a first-of-its-kind Consent and Safe Dating curriculum, to give young adults access to appropriate information and a safe space to have a healthy discourse on consent.

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