Messengers of Sex Hormones, Biomedicine and Feminism

ISBN-10: 0521863376
ISBN-13: 9780521863377
Edition: 2007
Authors: Celia Roberts
List price: $113.00 Buy it from $28.00
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Description: Since the early twentieth century, hormones have commonly been understood as 'messengers of sex'. They are seen as essential to the development and functioning of healthy reproductive male and female bodies; millions take them as medications in the  More...

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Book details

List price: $113.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/18/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 248
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Since the early twentieth century, hormones have commonly been understood as 'messengers of sex'. They are seen as essential to the development and functioning of healthy reproductive male and female bodies; millions take them as medications in the treatment of fertility, infertility and ageing. However, in contemporary society, hormones are both disturbed and disturbing; invading our environments and bodies through plastics, food and water, environmental estrogens and other chemicals, threatening irreversible, inter-generational bodily change. Using a wide range of sources, from physiology textbooks to popular parenting books and pharmaceutical advertisements, Celia Roberts analyses the multiple ways in which sex hormones have come to matter to us today. Bringing feminist theories of the body into dialogue with science and technology studies, she develops tools to address one of the most important questions facing feminism today: how is biological sex conceivable?

List of figures
A message to readers
Acknowledgements
Introduction: feminism, bodies and biological sex
Feminist theories of embodiment
Science studies and the active body
Foucault's histories of bodies
Messaging sex
Organisation of the book
Hormone Histories
Folding hormonal histories of sex
Histories of sexual differences
Understanding change: between 'science' and 'culture'
Time and embodiment in hormone histories
Hormonal Bodies
Articulating endocrinology's body
Theorising technoscientific knowledge production
Contemporary physiology's hormonal body
Hormones and the development of sexual differences
Articulating the hormonal body
Messaging and articulation
Activating sexed behaviours
Hormones and 'the organ of behaviour'
Scientific challenges to the biological/social distinction: animal studies
Feminist challenges to the biological/social distinction: the lived body
Popular science
A feminist response: rejecting essentialism?
Narrating hormones and sex: two illustrative examples
Messaging as multidirectional flow
Hormone Cultures
Elixirs of sex: hormone-replacement therapies and contemporary life
Menopause for women and men
HRT histories
Scientific theories of sexual and racial differences
Sex hormones and women's 'natural' pathologies
The menopause as unnatural difference
HRT for men: a new model of sexual difference?
Elixirs of difference
The messaging effects of HRT
Intended effects and 'side' effects
Feminist responses to HRT
Individual women's decisions: making medical choices
HRT-taking women and bio-social embodiment
Bio-social messaging
Hormones in the world
Describing 'gender-bending' chemicals
Feminism and the politics of endocrine disruption
Global messaging
Sharing space with polar bears
Conclusion: hormones as provocation
Feminism and vital material bodies
References
Index

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