Beyond the Natural Body: An Archaeology of Sex Hormones

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Routledge, 1994 - Medical - 195 pages
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Why has the female rather than the male body become increasingly subjected to hormonal treatment? Oudshoorn challenges the idea that the natural body exists any longer and evaluates the mixed blessings of the hormonal revolution.It is now impossible to imagine a world without sex hormones. Women all over the world take hormonal pills to control their fertility and estrogen and progesterone have become the most widely used drugs in the history of medicine. But why has the female rather than the male body become increasingly subjected to hormonal treatment?Nelly Oudshoorn challenges the idea that there exists such a thing as a natural body and shows how concepts such as the hormonal body assume the appearance of natural phenomena by virtue of the activities of scientists, rather than being rooted in nature.Nelly Oudshoorn challenges the idea that there exists such a thing as a natural body and shows how concepts such as the hormonal body assume the appearance of natural phenomena by virtue of the activities of scientists, rather than being rooted in nature.Beyond the Natural Body tells the fascinating story of scientists' search for the ovaries, testes and urine required to develop the hormonal concept: investigating how sex hormones have shaped our understanding of sex and the body, transforming science and medicine and ultimately redefining the relationship of women to reproduction. Nelly Oudshoorn concludes by evaluating the mixed blessings of the hormonal revolution.

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About the author (1994)

Nelly Oudshoorn is Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

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