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Testosterone Dreams

Testosterone Dreams: Rejuvenation, Aphrodisia, Doping

John Hoberman
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: 1
Pages: 381
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pncvq
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  • Book Info
    Testosterone Dreams
    Book Description:

    Testosterone has inspired dreams-of restored youth, recharged sexual appetites, faster running, quicker thinking, bigger muscles-since it was first synthesized in 1935. This provocative book investigates the complex, bizarre, and sometimes outrageous history of synthetic testosterone and other male hormone therapies. Exploring many little-known social arenas-both inside and outside the medical world-in which these substances are becoming increasingly available and accepted,Testosterone Dreamsexamines the implications and dangers of their use in professional sports, in the workplace, in our sex lives, and beyond.Testosterone Dreamstells the story of testosterone's growing and sometimes concealed influence in our culture over the past 70 years. It explores such controversial topics as the invention and marketing of the male menopause, the disturbing history of hormonal and other medical treatments aimed at boosting or suppressing women's sexuality, and hormone doping in sporting events such as the Tour de France and the Olympics, and in Major League Baseball. It brings to light the hidden use of hormone doping by policemen, soldiers, and other workers in a variety of jobs. It also discusses the burgeoning steroid use in the gay community and its relation to AIDS, and takes a hard look at the pharmaceutical industry's promotional campaigns to create new markets for testosterone products.Testosterone Dreamsis the first book to bring together the whole story of testosterone and to consider its social and ethical implications: Where does therapy end and performance enhancement begin? How are changing medical technologies affecting how we think about our identities as men and women and the elusive goal of "well-being"? This book will be essential reading as we move inexorably toward the wide-open, libertarian pharmacology that is now making these drug regimes available to a wider and wider clientele.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93978-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[viii])
  3. INTRODUCTION Testosterone Dreams: Pharmacology and Our Human Future
    (pp. 1-12)

    Testosterone Dreamsis an investigation of modern attitudes toward enhancing the mental, physical, and sexual powers of human beings. The chapters that follow explore the theory and practice of human enhancement by focusing on the complex, and sometimes bizarre, history of the synthetic hormone testosterone and the careers it has made, both inside and outside the medical world, over the past seventy years. Testosterone is the hormone of choice for this purpose because it has played all the major roles in which a charismatic hormone can function: it has been regarded as a rejuvenating drug, as a sexually stimulating drug,...

  4. CHAPTER 1 Hormone Therapy and the New Medical Paradigm
    (pp. 13-54)

    As the sun rises over the Palm Springs Life Extension Institute, situated amid the palm trees in the desert a hundred miles east of Los Angeles, a bare-chested patient named Bob Jones is already ascending into the foothills of the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Clasping two hiking sticks, his bodybuilder’s torso dripping with sweat, the seventy-year-old prodigy wipes a lock of implanted hair out of his eyes and presses on toward the summit. His new and strenuous life under medical supervision has become a single-minded campaign against death and decay. “No one,” he says, “can age with dignity without a...

  5. CHAPTER 2 The Aphrodisiac That Failed: Why Testosterone Did Not Become a Mass Sex Therapy
    (pp. 55-118)

    Synthetic testosterone seemed poised to become a mass therapy for aging men and sexually unresponsive women after the Second World War—but the pharmaceutical advertising of this era could not enlist a critical mass of doctors to join this campaign. Why this drug did not fulfill its apparent destiny of providing rejuvenation and sexual stimulation for the masses is one of the riddles that this book attempts to solve. In 1935, a decade before the publication of Paul de Kruif’s highly publicized manifestoThe Male Hormone(1945),Timehad celebrated the recent laboratory synthesis of testosterone, declaring that “German and...

  6. CHAPTER 3 The Mainstreaming of Testosterone
    (pp. 119-148)

    “If there is such a thing as a bodily substance more fabled than blood,”Timemagazine declared in April 2000, “it’s testosterone, the hormone that we understand and misunderstand as the essence of manhood.” For several weeks during what was greeted as the first spring of the new millennium, media interest in the male hormone seemed to be everywhere. At the beginning of May,NBC Nightly Newspresented two sequential segments that described the alleged benefits and medical hazards of synthetic testosterone drugs. The second installment, “Turning Back the Clock,” might have been mistaken for a promotional video produced by...

  7. CHAPTER 4 “Outlaw” Biomedical Innovations: Hormone Therapy and Beyond
    (pp. 149-178)

    The commercial promotion of various hormone therapies is only one symptom of a profound ethical disorientation within medicine that is gradually changing our sense of what medical science is and what it should be. This uncertainty about the norms that should regulate both medical research and clinical practice results in part from the recently achieved sequencing of the human genome and what this knowledge portends for our understanding of human biology and our ability to guide its evolution in the direction of enhanced health and human capacities. In a similar vein, the announcement in 1997 of the successful cloning of...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Hormone Therapy for Athletes: Doping as Social Transgression
    (pp. 179-213)

    Athletic doping is comparable in important ways to the use of drugs in the larger society. This chapter and those that follow show how examining the doping subculture in sport can illuminate the larger pharmacological landscape in which ordinary people use drugs. How realistic, for example, are campaigns to produce “drug-free” athletes and citizens? A review of doping before the age of steroids shows how nostalgic fantasies about drug-free athletes falsify history and mislead those who would rid sport (or society) of illicit drug use. The idea that the sports world was pure and honorable before anabolic steroids spread across...

  9. CHAPTER 6 “Let Them Take Drugs”: Public Responses to Doping
    (pp. 214-238)

    The question of how ordinary people feel about the doping practices of elite athletes is significant because it indirectly addresses the status of all pharmacological enhancements in the modern world. When and why people condemn athletic doping (if they do) should tell us something about when and why they might decline to use enhancing drugs themselves. Such abstinence would suggest that they wish to preserve rather than augment the selves they already have. It would also suggest that ordinary people expect athletes to respect the same limits they do. Alternatively, many ordinary citizens might assign athletes a special status that...

  10. CHAPTER 7 A War against Drugs? The Politics of Hormone Doping in Sport
    (pp. 239-276)

    Over the past four decades illicit drug use in Olympic sport has reached epidemic proportions. The widespread and often undetected use of potentially dangerous synthetic hormones such as anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, and erythropoietin has provoked a crisis of confidence in the integrity of such Olympic sports as track and field, swimming, cycling, and weightlifting. Hormone doping has made possible, or rendered suspect, numerous world records. Signs of demoralization among athletes and sports officials have been evident for many years. In 1991, for example, the spokesman for Germany’s track-and-field athletes claimed that highly placed officials had simply given up...

  11. EPILOGUE Testosterone as a Way of Life
    (pp. 277-286)

    Testosterone has infiltrated modern life in ways that often escape both our attention and our censure. Anabolic steroids made possible, for example, the cinematic and political careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was elected governor of California in November 2003. The former bodybuilding champion has prospered as a prototype of the hypermuscular male body that entered the American mainstream through the film (Pumping Iron, 1977) in which he first starred. As the father of small boys, I often encountered copycat versions of his swollen male torso in toy stores in the form of “action figures.” These grotesquely muscle-bound plastic creatures also...

  12. NOTES
    (pp. 287-358)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 359-381)