Download e-book for iPad: Beyond the Natural Body: An Archaeology of Sex Hormones by Nelly Oudshoorn

By Nelly Oudshoorn

ISBN-10: 0415091918

ISBN-13: 9780415091916

Past the common physique offers an episode within the heritage of lifestyles sciences that's necessary to our present realizing of intercourse and the physique, and the relatives among gender and technology. because the early many years of this centry, the concept of the hormonally-constructed physique has develop into the dominant mode of conceptualising our bodies, really lady our bodies, to such an volume that we now suppose that it really is a average phenomenon. This e-book demanding situations the concept that there's this sort of factor as a natural' physique and demonstrates that it's the strategy in which medical claims in achieving common prestige that constructs such discourses as usual evidence. past the common physique tells the attention-grabbing tale of scientists' look for the numerous hundreds ovaries, testes and urine that have been required in experiments to enhance the hormonal physique idea. It strains the origins of intercourse hormones and follows their improvement via mass-production as medications to their eventual transformation into the contraceptive capsule. Nelly Oudshoorn argues that the ability to regulate intercourse and the physique isn't really constrained to the area of texts and ideologies. moreover, she discusses the chasm that exists among the clinical cross-cultural alterations between girls, placing the case for localised and user-specific functions of technological know-how and expertise.

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Additional info for Beyond the Natural Body: An Archaeology of Sex Hormones

Sample text

Jongh 1934b:1,209) THE BIRTH OF SEX HORMONES 31 The concept of sexual specificity also structured the debate about the function of “heterosexual” hormones in human bodies. Clinicians suggested that female sex hormones had no function in the normal development of male bodies. Instead, they conceptualized female sex hormones as agents that caused diseases, in particular sexual and psychological disorders. 21 The issue of hormones and homosexuality will be elaborated further in Chapter 3. By the end of the 1930s, scientists had largely accepted the idea that “heterosexual hormones” have a function in the normal development of male organisms, thus abandoning the dualistic concept of an exclusive sex-specific hormonal function.

SEX-SPECIFIC ORIGIN The first challenges to the prescientific idea of a sexual duality located in the gonads appeared in the early 1920s. In 1921, the Viennese gynecologist Otfried Fellner published an article in Pflueger’s Archiv describing experiments with rabbits in which extracts of the testis produced effects on the growth of the uterus similar to those produced by ovarian extracts. 14 It took several years before this report evoked reactions from his colleagues. Remarkably, this response came from the “newcomers” in the field of sex endocrinology: the biochemists.

Whereas gynecologists were particularly interested in the functions of the ovaries in order to control all kinds of disorders ascribed to ovarian malfunction, physiologists had a broader interest in the role of the ovaries and testes in the development of the body. The concept of hormones triggered a new experimental approach in laboratory science. At the turn of the twentieth century scientists began to search actively for the chemical substances in the sex glands using the techniques of castration and transplantation.

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Beyond the Natural Body: An Archaeology of Sex Hormones by Nelly Oudshoorn


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