Messengers of Sex: Hormones, Biomedicine and Feminism

Messengers of Sex: Hormones, Biomedicine and Feminism

by Celia Roberts

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Overview

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521681971
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/18/2007
Series: Cambridge Studies in Society and the Life Sciences
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Celia Roberts is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. She is the author of Born and Made: An Ethnography of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (with Sarah Franklin, 2006).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Feminism, bodies and biological sex; Part I. Hormone Histories: 1. Folding hormonal histories of sex; Part II. Hormonal Bodies: 2. Articulating endocrinology's body; 3. Activating sexed behaviours; Part III. Hormone Cultures: 4. Elixirs of sex: hormone-replacement therapies and contemporary life; 5. The messaging effects of HRT; 6. Hormones in the world; Conclusion: Hormones as provocation.

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