OCAD University Open Research Repository

Body Literacy: Our Vital Knowledge, Our Vital Power

Fleming, Angie Eriko (2022) Body Literacy: Our Vital Knowledge, Our Vital Power. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Fleming, Angie Eriko
Abstract:

The menstrual cycle has been recognized as the fifth vital sign: a holistic health indicator that enables people who menstruate (PWM) to understand the state of their general health through physiological biomarkers. Understanding the menstrual cycle as a vital sign empowers PWM to develop their body literacy, which requires a capacity for systems thinking. While this fifth vital sign was acknowledged in the early 2000’s, it is not common knowledge among PWM, healthcare professionals, educators, menstrual health product makers, or FemTech innovators. This knowledge gap has significant implications for the holistic health, confidence, and agency of PWM to make informed health decisions.

This embodied research project aims to simultaneously develop my capabilities as a systems thinker, while developing my body literacy. By applying systems thinking methods and tools rooted in feminist participatory action research, the research objective is to gain a systemic understanding of this vital knowledge gap from multiple perspectives: the individual PWM, the community of body literacy educators, and society at large.

This study investigates the systemic factors that have created a society with this knowledge gap. It then identifies the community of actors working to close this knowledge gap. It concludes with a systems-based approach to exploring the opportunity spaces revealed through the research to promote social change to scale and emerge a new system.

Date: 16 May 2022
Uncontrolled Keywords: body literacy, menstrual health, holistic health, systems thinking, fifth vital sign, menstruation, ovulation
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 18:44
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 18:44
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3768

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