One In Five Men Would ‘Probably Keep Going’ If Their Partner Wasn’t Enjoying Sex – & That’s Terrifying

There's still so much work to do...

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“I’d probably keep going even if I suspect my partner is not enjoying a sexual encounter.”

Yikes… what a frightening statement. What’s even more frightening is that one in five of young men in Ireland who participated in a survey agree with it.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) has recently conducted a survey which has displayed the concerning attitudes of young men in Ireland regarding sexual consent. This is the organisation’s third segment of analysis which shows the public’s general understanding of consent, rape and sexual assault.

The new study, in association with the We-Consent campaign, has revealed that out of the 630 adults who participated, 21% of respondents believe that “sometimes sex is not fully consensual but is not rape.”

Some 33% of participants agreed that as part of a long-term relationship, sex is something you “go along with” even when “you’re not always up for it.”

20% of men in Ireland who are under the age of 45 said they would not stop a sexual encounter, even if they were aware that their partner was uncomfortable. Well, that’s a scary thought…

Another of the more alarming statistics shows that close to one in 5 (19%) of those surveyed believe that people say no or don’t consent to sex when they want to be convinced. What does this mean for the power of the word “no”, or lack thereof?

Despite these distressing stats, project manager of We-Consent Sarah Monaghan has said that in comparison to last year’s results, there has been “significant progress” concerning the public’s comprehension of consent.

On a more positive note, trends show that almost half of respondents had a more in-depth understanding of sexual consent compared to a year ago.

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When asked if they agree that, “Everyone has the right to change their mind at any point during a sexual encounter, no matter how far it’s gone,” 76% strongly agreed, which is an increase of 12% since the DRCC survey from 2021.

When asked if they would prefer to stop things if they suspected that their partner was uncomfortable or not enjoying a sexual encounter, the majority of people (84%) agreed, up from 76% in 2021.

Although this still leaves a remaining 16% who did not agree, proving there is still much work to do.

Sarah says, “We hear from those we engage with that there is a need for more discussion about long-term relationships and how consent cannot be assumed within marriage and relationships.” Preach it!

She further adds, “Consent is not a once-off conversation, it needs to be talked about regularly to ensure everyone feels happy and safe.”

We hope that those one in five men are listening up!

It is a huge concern for the DRCC that certain groups say they would, “probably keep going”, when aware that their partner was not enjoying sex.

Chief executive officer Rachel Morrogh urges anyone to call out family and friends who would agree to these statements or have a misunderstanding of consent.

“Changing people’s understanding of consent is essential if the elimination of sexual violence is to be achieved,” she says.

She asserts that there are unwavering challenges which have been consistent amongst some groups, particularly young men in Ireland throughout recent years.

By calling people out, educating each other, and supporting campaigns like We-Consent, together we can try and put an end to sexual violence in Ireland.

Words by Shauna Whyte