Gender Differences in Attitudes toward Becoming Fragrance-Free





Creative Commons Licence

Contributed date

November 25, 2018 - 1:01pm

Critical Commentary

Design Statement: We present this visualization of “Data on Gender Differences in Attitudes toward Becoming Fragrance-Free” for the following reasons:


  • Spaces to write-in comments regarding whether the survey respondent has learned anything from the survey instrument conventionally function as closing vehicles to check whether the aims of the survey have been achieved.  In the spirit of “canary activism,” the most desirable yield on this question would be something along the lines of 51-100% responses indicating “From the survey I learned the potential health hazards of fragrances and now wish to become fragrance-free so as to support those with MCS and the health of my own body as well.” Real life observation and provocation yields more arrayed responses that can be further analyzed when the data is disaggregated along lines gender identification.

  • We used ethnographic and community health styles of coding the qualitative data recorded in the comments section. Dwelling on these comments has raised the prospect that our previous presumption (see above on “low hanging fruit”) was likely incorrect.  Individuals are quite attached to masking bodily scents with fragrances (even when revealed for their toxicant effects), and worry about social stigma from “smelling bad.”

  • The survey aimed at quantitative data collection.  The negative space drawing, so to speak, of that method emerged in the “comments” section.  We nonetheless reapplied visualization methods appropriate to quantitative data in this representation.

  • The play with what can be represented quantitatively and qualitatively or in a blend or moebius-like crossing of quantitative and qualitative approaches is intentional.

Cite as

Mehar Maju, Alexandra Apolloni, Molly Bloom and Rachel Lee, "Gender Differences in Attitudes toward Becoming Fragrance-Free", contributed by Rachel Lee and Alexandra Apolloni, Center for Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 25 November 2018, accessed 4 December 2021.