Project Proposal: Sexual Harassment app for Female Temple Students

Social Justice Topic:

The social justice topic I intend to address in my final project is sexual harassment.  The treatment of women in various places is not always acceptable or equal and should be of concern.  The app Not Your Baby has inspired me to make a similar app that is geared to women who attend Temple.  In the Human Rights Code (the Code) sexual harassment is defined as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought to be known to be unwelcome.” I’m focusing more on gender-based harassment, which is “any behavior that polices and reinforces traditional heterosexual gender norms” (Elizabeth J. Meyer, “Gendered Harassment in Secondary Schools: Understanding Teachers’ (Non) Interventions,” Gender and Education, Vol. 20, No. 6, November 2008, 555 at 555).  Many times women are embarrassed to tell someone or report incidents where they are sexually harassed.  Only one in ten incidents are ever reported to authorities.  Twenty three per cent of women experienced workplace sexual harassment with young women at highest risk according to a study in Canada.  Women who attend Temple should have a place where they can find comfort and advice after an encounter.  Not your baby app is incredible but creating an app for Temple would help women feel closer and connected.

Idea for an App design:

Speaking for myself, I encounter a form of sexual harassment almost everyday whether it is a street lingerer, construction worker, or guys on campus.  These demeaning remarks have an affect on me and I intend on preventing this from happening.  The app I hope to create is an app for Temple Women who have been sexually harassed or are in the process of being sexually harassed.  There are so many places this can happen and having an app associated with Temple can help prevent these instances from happening. I imagine it to be more like a Twitter or blog.  I plan on having multiple tabs in this app including: advice, places to get help, who to report these incidents to, and personal stories (can be anonymous) to view.  Women can choose to post what happened to them and others can comment on them with advice.  You can also say where this is happening like a city street, subway, on campus, work, center city, etc. which women who go to Temple can relate to.  I was also deciding whether to incorporate a map or not of Temple campus to pinpoint where these sexual harassments are happening.

I plan on studying apps like Not your baby and Hollaback to inspire me more on how to make my app as helpful as possible.  I hope this app will not only help a woman being harassed at a specific moment, but also prevent it all together.

How app design connects to my field research:

Although I did my field research at Starbucks on 15th and Market St., I did learn a lot of ways people use their phone.  In a lot of cases women use their phone to look busy and ignore remarks that are being taunted at them as they walk.  A phone can be used as a barrier or shield for a woman.  I realized phones are used very often for apps and communication.  Social media and other apps were constantly being checked.  Since the app I hope to create is social media based hopefully it can have that same affect.

Peer-reviewed scholarly articles I attend to use:

Light, A. and Luckin, R. (2008). Designing for social justice: people, technology, and learning. Opening Education. Retrieved from

Fueller, Mary M. (1992). Sexual harassment: how to recognize and deal with it. Advanced Learning Systems. Retrieved from

Friedman, Joel. (1992). Sexual Harassment: what it is, what it isn’t, what it does to you, and what you can do about it. Health Communications. Retrieved from

Ideas for visual design project:

For the visual part of this project I plan on making a video.  I want to ask females who go to Temple what they think about the app idea I have.  I would also ask them if they think this app would be helpful with sexual harassment incidents.  I think seeing females reactions and thoughts on this app idea would help me think of more possible ideas to better this app.

If I do not make a video I will make a mock up design of the app.  I would Photoshop a design and logo of the app, but I fully intend on making a video.

Concrete timeline for project:

I first plan on doing a lot of research on similar apps.  I plan on talking to females at Temple about sexual harassment and incidents they experienced.  I then will meet with Kristina Devoe about my sources and advice on writing the paper.  Then I will do research in the Paley library and online to get information on gender based harassment and app making.  Then I will write the paper and make the visual design part of the project.


One thought on “Project Proposal: Sexual Harassment app for Female Temple Students”

  1. This app is a very good idea, and could be a good model for a similar app for schools everywhere. I recommend researching Hollaback and seeing if you can get in touch with any of the makers of Not Your Baby for advice or background on their app. Also, while Not Your Baby is very self-contained, you mention linking it to a blog or Twitter. I wonder if you could make it possible for people to report things to the app that are then tweeted anonymously. That would help make harassment more visible while not threatening the privacy of individual people issuing reports.

    Since you note that you are focusing on gender harassment, I recommend not framing this as just for women. People who don’t identify as women also experience “behavior that polices and reinforces traditional heterosexual gender norms.” People who are gender-non-conforming as well as cisgendered women and men could really benefit from an app like this. More research on gender harassment broadly defined will be useful in your paper and design plans. Moreover research on resources that are available at Temple will help you talk in specifics about what your app can offer users.

    For the visual design, if you create a video make sure that it includes some explanation of how the app works and what it does. If possible you might also see if you can get anyone from Temple counseling or public safety to talk about what resources are available at Temple (and in turn what can be included in the app).

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