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Accepted Contribution:

Which stories are steroids used to tell the in Danish news?  
Lea Skewes (The Institute of Culture and Language)

Short abstract:

We explore how steroids become gender markers and what stories they tell in the Danish news? Steroids often cues associations of athletes and bodybuilders on doping. But what kind of masculinities are narrated in steroids stories, in the Danish news?

Long abstract:

We explore this, as well as, who gets to tell these masculinity stories through steroids? In contrast to the hypermasculinity associations which steroids often create many of the news stories strive to position men using steroids as mentally vulnerable men who suffer from muscle dysmorphia or megarexia. That is, these steroid-using men who strive to be read as macho, are in many of these news stories interpreted, through a pathological lens which categories them as mentally vulnerable and in need of care. These men (and their expressions of masculinity) are narrated, by experts and journalists a like, as in need of medical interventions due to their unique vulnerabilities. Some articles even explicitly labelled these men victims of substances abuse. Researchers and the Anti-doping agency recommend that the growing use of steroids amongst these men (both inside and outside of elite sports), is addressed through a creation of substances abuse centers that would specialize in their unique vulnerabilities. That is, men who are expressing their masculinity through steroid use, are interpreted as if they are in a mental crisis. The news stories do not invite us to heil the macho men’s masculinity. On the contrary, the media and the experts seem to dethrone the macho men by framing them as vulnerable victims with mental health challenges which the healthcare system ought to (but often fail to) address.

Combined Format Open Panel P271
Making and doing hormonal theory
  Session 1