Fitness Doping pp 161-180 | Cite as

Female Fitness Doping

  • Jesper AndreassonEmail author
  • Thomas Johansson


Women’s muscle-building has long been considered a threat to the ‘natural’ gender order. This applies particularly to women’s gender boundary-crossing into the realm of muscular masculinity, through drug use practices and bodybuilding. On the basis of qualitatively gathered interview material and data from various postings on a pro-doping online community, in this chapter we describe and analyze how female fitness dopers understand and negotiate their use in relation to gender and the body. The chapter is positioned within post-structural feminism, and the results show that there is an increasing amount of knowledge in the area of fitness doping that not only targets women, but has also been developed by and for women concerning. Traditionally, scholars have connected female drug use more or less exclusively to female bodybuilders, but as new body and femininity ideals develop, the demographics of female fitness doping are broadening. Although fitness doping remains primarily a masculine domain, the results reveal a development in which women are increasingly being invited to join and becoming more integrated into a fitness community of drug users.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sport ScienceLinnaeus UniversityKalmarSweden
  2. 2.Department of Education, Communication and LearningUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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