More than 70% of young adults in Pune don’t know how to give, ask or withdraw consent when dating someone

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Pune, 26th September 2022: Tinder, the world’s most popular app for meeting new people, is bringing back ‘Let’s Talk Consent’, its initiative to encourage conversations around consent and safe dating. This year, the campaign launched with We Need To Talk”, a short film that explores the nuances of consent in interpersonal relationships amongst young Indian adults. This will be followed by a first-of-its-kind Consent and Safe Dating Curriculum, developed by experts and available online and in person in select universities, to give young adults access to appropriate information and a safe space to have a healthy discourse on the subject. The initiatives this year build on Tinder’s existing interactive resource center launched last year, in partnership with Yuvaa and Pink Legal.

A recent survey by Tinder reveals that most young adults in India have little or no confidence in navigating consent and find it hard to have conversations on the subject. Amongst those surveyed in Pune, more than 70% of young adults are hesitant to give consent, ask for it and to withdraw consent when dating someone. When asked about situations when their consent was violated, 55% of young Punekars chose not to speak to their date/partner about it and turned to a friend and looked for resources online, illustrating the need for continuous dialogue on this subject. Infact, 74% of these young adults from Pune believe that consent should be discussed more openly with partners.

Kareena Manekar, Tinder Member from Pune says, “As a generation, I believe we understand the importance of consent and explicitly talking about our likes and dislikes, but sometimes it’s difficult to talk about it openly. Nobody wants to make it awkward or hurt anyone’s feelings. If it weren’t for my friends and other community groups I am a part of,  I wouldn’t have understood that I can talk about consent without fearing it will kill the mood!”

“Our conversations with Tinder members and the survey with young adult daters in India gave us insight into the overwhelming need to create safe spaces for conversations on boundaries and mutual respect, which are not often discussed in our society, ” said Taru Kapoor, GM, Tinder & Match Group, India. ” Our Let’s Talk Consent initiative aims to give young adults the tools and resources to understand how consent equates freedom in making choices, mutual agreement and normalizes open discussions on tough topics. Coupled with safety products in the app and initiatives such as these, we are committed to working towards creating a healthy dating ecosystem in the country.”

Tinder’s long-standing commitment to safety started with, requiring mutual consent to send a message. Over the past several years, the app has continued building best-in-class safety features and has provided members complete control over who they interact with, setting the pace and intent of each interaction while reserving the right to withdraw consent at any time. This initiative is part of Tinder’s wider trust and safety efforts to support proactive member education in app and off it. Many of the safety features and initiatives have now become the standard for the industry as daters overwhelmingly value the choice, control and agency that Tinder brought to them throughout their dating journey with Tinder: Video Chat, which was designed by Tinder’s safety team to facilitate a pre-IRL date that puts comfort first, Photo Verification to ensure members are who they say they are, Block Contacts to avoid any colleagues or exes, an updated Reporting process amongst other product features, such as Does This Bother You and Are You Sure to ensure you have all the tools from the time you match to when you go for your first date.

Following last year’s film on Consent, Closure, which was made available across platforms, Tinder’s latest short film, directed by Sonam Nair and conceptualized in collaboration with The Script Room, addresses some of these above inhibitions and showcases the importance of enabling conversations on consent. This year’s film can be seen across Tinder’s Instagram, YouTube, and Voot.

More on the survey

More on Tinder’s safety features

Additional Data Insights from Pune: 

  1. Young Indians want to learn and discuss consent. Young adults in Pune placed themselves at the helm of these conversations with 1 in 2 recognizing themselves as the biggest channel for normalizing conversations around consent.
  1. Building a community around consent education. 7 in 10 young adults in Pune believe that consent should be discussed more openly with partners, 73% want it to be even taught formally in schools and colleges, and 65% have taken steps to personally understand the concept of consent.
  2. Developing safe spaces for topics on consent. More than 6 in 10 young adults in Pune seek more resources and safe spaces (both physical and online) on consent to be more educated and aware in their personal settings. Amongst a broad group of stakeholders potentially responsible for normalizing conversations on consent, young people identified themselves (55%), parents (46%), and schools and colleges (43%) as the top three influencers responsible for that conversation
  3. Becoming confident in navigating consent – both IRL and URL. Across various aspects of consent education, young Punekars are most interested in learning about how to navigate consent while meeting someone online (48%), understanding their own boundaries and limitations (40%), followed by how to ask for consent (38%), emphasizing the need for consent education in the city.
  1. Consent takes a backseat to avoid hurt, conflict or awkwardness. There are a myriad of factors that prevent young adults from communicating consent or the lack thereof to their dates or partners. The most frequent reasons include: afraid of hurting the date/partner’s feelings (36%), anxious about not being liked (31%), not knowing how to say no (30%), and themselves are awkward having such conversations (30%)
  2. Recognize red flags but struggle to draw boundaries. Young adults in Pune also have clear categorisation of widely understood metaphors for warning signs.
  1. Green Flags: Making you feel comfortable being your true self, making it clear to a date how they feel about you, and prioritizing making time for you are the top three green flags.
  2. Red Flags: Top three red flags voted by young adults in Pune were asking for intimate pictures, making fun of their interests/beliefs, and not texting/calling back for a few days after meeting.

Yet putting them into practice proves harder than imagined: 7 in 10 young adults in Pune say that they would hesitate to say no to a kiss and an almost equal number say they would hesitate to dismiss intimate advances even though it might make them uncomfortable.

  1. Consent extends beyond physical intimacy. Young adults in Pune believe that consent extends beyond intimacy and includes a larger concern for privacy and emotional boundaries. In fact, 4 in 10 young adults in Pune identified sharing someone’s photos or conversational screenshots or looking at someone’s phone or laptop without asking first as violations of privacy in the absence of explicit consent.

*Research conducted by YouGov – survey of 1,018 Indian young adults (18-30) across  Delhi, Bombay, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad.