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The (In)Sensibility of Authentic Hormonal Masculinity.

Wed, August 30, 2:00 to 3:30pm, Sheraton Boston, 3, Beacon G


testosterone use by athletes. During these early years of testosterone detection, testosterone made sense of as “the male sex hormone” in the popular imagination while anti-doping researchers were more ambivalent. While these researchers often made sense of testosterone as a hormone produced in both male and female bodies, they believed it was responsible for masculinization of all bodies and the subsequent conferral of athletic advantage on these bodies. This presentation specifically looks at the use of gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) and radioimmunoassay (RIA) as these techniques relate to the “testosterone to epitestosterone” (T/E) ratio that defined testosterone doped athletes. These techniques shifted “authentic” masculinity from an aesthetic quality usually tethered to male bodies to a matter of hormonal composition in both male and female bodies. These researchers established a technical means of evaluating a moral characteristic---doping---as well as a technical moralization of gender. Established through population-based steroid profiles, these techniques aligned with a hypermasculine model of athletes where both male and female athletes were permitted to have up to six times the “normal” amount of testosterone per biological sex category circulating through their bodies when tested. These researchers defined athletes as a category of bodies capable of possessing more testosterone than the “normal” population. Yet, this non-normality had to be policed at the margins to protect the non-normal from the immoral. This policing happened through the (in)sensibilities bound to the new “authentic” forms of hormonal masculinity ascribed to both male and female athlete bodies.


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