Tinder is taking action after new research uncovered an “alarming” number of Australians “know little to nothing” about sexual consent.
Research conducted by the popular dating app and YouGov revealed a staggering 17 per cent of Aussies “know little to nothing” about the seeking permission before sex.
A further 28 per cent said they “know something” about it, while 55 per cent of Gen Z and Millennial dating app users said they are “confident that they’re very knowledgeable” about the topic.
Consent has gained widespread attention in recent years due to horrifying sexual assault numbers both in Australia and overseas.
One in five women in Australia has experienced some form of sexual violence, with one in four of these being under 18 at the time.
But evidence shows preventive education, including information on consent, can help drastically reduce the number of sexual assaults.
In response to the eye-opening statistics, Tinder has created an educational guide for those looking to both give and get consent while navigating the world of dating.
The “dating dictionary” includes definitions of consent terms and examples of incorporating consent checks and phrases into your conversations while looking for love.
“So many of today’s dating interactions start with a Swipe, but we want these to be safe and consensual, above all,” Tinder Australia spokesperson, Kirsty Dunn, said.
“Respect has always been at Tinder’s core, starting with mutual matching, which requires both users to express interest before chatting, as well as our suite of trust and safety features.
“We know that safety is complex and personal, and consent is much more than permission and rules, so we hope this guide helps daters navigate dating and foster healthy relationships.”
The 11-page guide was created with the help of sexual consent activist Chanel Contos who said “The Consent Edition of Tinder’s Dating Dictionary is a great step in improving the way we talk about consent in Australia, especially for young daters”.
“Consent is required in all intimate encounters in order to ensure no one feels uncomfortable and to avoid sexual assault,” she said.
“As dating often involves sexual intimacy, it should really be one of the number one topics we thinking about when dating.
“Consent isn’t just about a one time conversation and simple yes or no, we need to be able to hold space for the maybes as well.”
While many of the terms featured will be familiar to most, Chanel – who went viral in 2021 for exposing more than 500 disturbing stories of alleged sexual assault at some of Sydney’s most prestigious private schools – said there was “power” to having literature and explanation around them in the right context.
“Definitions can be very powerful. When we give words to actions, and when the people around us understand what those words mean too, we enable people to have conversations about topics that are traditionally taboo.”
The founder and CEO of Teach Us Consent, a campaign that was responsible for mandating consent education in Australia, also explained that despite many Aussies recognising the terms surrounding consent – not everyone truly understands them, stating “stealthing” was a great example of this.
“Stealthing refers to the act of the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex,” the author of Consent Laid Bare explained.
“But despite it being something that has attracted increased attention recently due to a high profile allegation of it in NSW, I still think that the meaning of the word is new or misunderstood to many people.”
Alongside the dating dictionary, Tinder has also launched its “school of swipe” to help young adults navigate online dating.
The online course is billed as a “digital wingmate” that aims at helping Aussie singletons build confidence as they seek out new connections, and provides guidance on the online-to-offline dating journey.
Initially the feature was trialled in Singapore but has now been localised with the help of Chanel, who has provided a safety syllabus for daters, as well as expert advice on how to handle rejection and bad behaviours from “respectful relationships” coach Max Radcliffe.
The new additions to Tinder come after the popular dating app created a guide to new words created by Gen Z earlier in the year which contained explainers on modern language to help ease widespread confusion from older generations.
New words featured included “Situationship”, which describes the sticky in-between status when someone is more than a hook-up, but not quite a couple, and “cushioning”, which refers to keeping several backup relationships to soften the blow if your main one doesn’t last.
The full Consent Edition of Tinder’s Dating Dictionary can be viewed here.