Quantified sex : a critical analysi…
Quantified sex : a critical analysis of sexual and reproductive self-tracking using apps
Journal Article : C1 - Refereed Journal Articles
Culture, Health & Sexuality, 17 (4) , pp. 440-453
Digital health technologies are playing an increasingly important role in healthcare, health education and voluntary self-surveillance, self-quantification and self-care practices. This paper presents a critical analysis of one digital health device: computer apps used to self-track features of users’ sexual and reproductive activities and functions. After a review of the content of such apps available in the Apple App Store and Google playe store, some of their sociocultural, ethical and political implications are discussed. These include the role played by these apps in participatory surveillance, their configuration of sexuality and reproduction, the valorising of the quantification of the body in the context of neoliberalism and self-responsibility, and issues concerning privacy, data security and the use of the data collected by these apps. It is suggested that such apps represent sexuality and reproduction in certain defined and limited ways that work to perpetuate normative stereotypes and assumptions about women and men as sexual and reproductive subjects. Furthermore there are significant ethical and privacy implications emerging from the use of these apps and the data they produce. The paper ends with suggestions concerning the ‘queering’ of such technologies in response to these issues.
self-tracking; apps; healthcare; self-surveillance; digital devices
United Kingdom : Routledge
University of Canberra, Faculty of Arts & Design
©2014 Taylor & Francis
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