Ep # 92 Emergency Contraceptives & Hymenoplasty: Lisa Wynn on Sexual & Reproductive Health Tech


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Today we talked about Lisa’s research on sexual and reproductive health technologies in the United States as well as in the Middle East and North Africa. We focused on emergency contraceptives and unpacked the arguments both for and against making them available over the counter in America. Lisa took a deep dive into how the activism for expanded access to emergency contraceptives has created a hierarchy of deservedness that prioritises specific groups above others, diverting public attention away from the universal human rights discourse. We then turned to Egypt where Lisa has done long-term ethnographic fieldwork on sexuality and dived into a particular sexual technology - hymenoplasty, or hymen-reconstruction procedures. Lisa shared with us a fascinating story of how people used it as a tactic to circumvent or subvert cultural norms and build social respectability. We also touched on the unexpectedly diverging opinions on hymenoplasty from religious authorities, doctors, and laypeople.

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