“Definitely Not for Women”: An Online Community’s Reflections on Women’s Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs in Recreational Sports

  • Marianne Raakilde JespersenEmail author
Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 52)


On the face of it, doping seems to be the most objectionable version of athletic enhancement. When considering the use of performance enhancing drugs in recreational sports there is a tendency to focus on young men’s use of androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS). However, other segments of the population might use drugs to enhance their performance when exercising too. For instance women. This chapter presents an insight into women’s use of performance enhancing drugs, as it is represented at the Danish internet community, Although the material is limited, the presented closereading of posts from this community gives an insight into which drugs are being used, how and why. The material reveals that women do show interest in and do use these drugs, however mostly other drugs than AAS. Women’s drug use seem in particular to ignite discussions on human biology and nature, and eventhough this is a community, where performance enhancing drug use is legitimate, the posts reveal boundaries that are regarded as non-transgressable. An idea of respect for human nature and the body grounds these limits, which especially concern irreversible side effects, in particular those relating to biological sex and gender: infertility and androgenic, virilising effects in women.


Human Nature Androgenic Anabolic Steroid Female Member Male Member Enhancement Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sport Science Section, Department of Public HealthAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark

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