Femtech: The Evolution of Sexual Health for Women
Technology is “the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment.” (Random House, 2017)
It is the internet, computers, machines, robots and software. Technology has transformed human life; making daily tasks more efficient and less physically tasking, as well as global communication becoming faster and easier, for example.
This Terms of Reference aims to explore how technology is changing the way in which self-identifying women specifically, navigate and are educated in matters of their intimate relationships and sexuality.
Especially, given the current rise of the femtech market. “Femtech” being a term coined by Ida Tin who is CEO of Clue (2013), a forward thinking company that believes “connected mobile technology is the future of female health.”
It is imperative that intersectional feminism is well-articulated throughout this document, due to the cis-male dominance of the tech industry. In Europe alone, women make up only 30% of approximately 7 million people working in the information and communication sector (European Commision, 2013).
Women make up 49.5% (World Bank, 2016) of the world’s population. One of the world’s largest international sex surveys, conducted by Clue and The Kinsey Institute (2017) finds that:
- 30% of all respondents use dating apps.
- 40% of all respondents have used an app to track sex.
- Their Chinese respondents were the most likely to use apps to learn about sex.
- Amanda Gesselman, Researcher at The Kinsey Institute quotes that “cultural norms of masculinity make it difficult to speak to friends about these issue. This finding shows that men are looking for other ways to learn about sexual intimacy.”
- Respondents who identified as a sexual or gender minority were more likely to have used an app to find a partner.
- Visit helloclue.com or kinseyinstitute.org for more research and data.
We need to explore what these findings mean for women in the face of patriarchy and misogynoir. Both on a societal level, and for the women who leave the tech sector due to being “underrepresented in managerial and decision-making positions” (European Commission, 2013).
The language and imagery we use to talk about matters of sex/sexual health in society, circulated through technology and the media, are crucial on the subject of mental health and physical well-being. Femtech is revolutionising this sector, ensuring that knowledge and resource are accessible to all women.
We are open to the submission of research, short essays, news stories, think pieces, poetry and visual art. If you would like to submit anything outside of this, that you feel would be appropriate, still feel free to let us know in the form below!
Topics for this ToR may include, but are not limited to:
- Understanding the menstrual cycle for self-care purposes
- The use of technology for maintaining a routine of self-care and well-being
- Self-confidence and self-esteem
- Sexual stigmas that negatively affect self-identifying women
- Patriarchy in matters of sex and sexual health
- Accessibility of sexual advice and treatment for women
- The importance of full understanding the female body/anatomy
- The intersections of sexual and mental health
- Diversity in the media’s coverage of sexual health
- How femtech is diversifying the media industry
- Sexual liberation in relation to feminism
- The journey of pregnancy and birth,
- The rise of Femtech and its significance
- The use of technology to maintain intimate relationships