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Negotiating female fitness doping: gender, identity and transgressions

Journal article
Authors Jesper Andreasson
Thomas Johansson
Published in Sport in Society
ISSN 1743-0437
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Language en
Keywords Female bodybuilding, fitness doping, body, transgression, narrative, netnography
Subject categories Sociology


On the basis of qualitatively gathered interview material and data from various postings on a pro-doping online community called Flashback, the aim of this article is to describe and analyse how female users of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIED) understand and negotiate their use in relation to gender and the body. Positioned within post-structural feminism, the results show that there is an increasing amount of knowledge that not only targets but is also developed by and for women concerning PIED use. Traditionally scholars have connected female PIED use more or less exclusively to female bodybuilders, but as new body and femininity ideals develop the demographics of female fitness doping are widening. Although PIED use in the context of gym and fitness culture remains primarily a masculine domain, the results point towards a development in which women are increasingly becoming more integrated into a fitness community of PIED users.

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