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‘Sis Science’ and Fitness Doping: Ethnopharmacology, Gender and Risk

Department of Sport Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Linnaeus University, 391 82 Kalmar, 351 95 Växjö, Sweden
Department of Education, Communication and Learning, University of Gothenburg, Box 300, 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 55;
Received: 18 March 2020 / Revised: 17 April 2020 / Accepted: 17 April 2020 / Published: 21 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Sports, Extreme Bodies)
This article is part of a larger investigation looking into recent changes in the demographics of fitness doping and the possible consequences of such changes. Contesting the historical alliance between masculinity and fitness doping, the article focuses on women’s narratives and experiences of fitness doping in a male-dominated open online community called Flashback. The article builds upon a qualitative and netnographic approach to the research. Employing the lens of the potential emergence of a woman-based ethnopharmacological culture, this article investigates the ways in which women talk about and rationalise their use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PEIDs), their potency and potential gendered side-effects. The results show that although fitness doping can be largely understood in terms of hegemonic patterns, women have gained ground in the context of online fitness doping, heralding a changing doping demography and a movement towards a ‘sis science’ ethnopharmacology. Although critiqued by men, the context enables women to freely discuss harm reduction, risks and the potential potencies of various drugs, and to share knowledge that is relevant to female biology and discuss their own experiences, an activity that also makes visible the negotiation of new gender positions. View Full-Text
Keywords: fitness; doping; body; gender; side-effects; ethnopharmacology; women fitness; doping; body; gender; side-effects; ethnopharmacology; women
MDPI and ACS Style

Sverkersson, E.; Andreasson, J.; Johansson, T. ‘Sis Science’ and Fitness Doping: Ethnopharmacology, Gender and Risk. Soc. Sci. 2020, 9, 55.

AMA Style

Sverkersson E, Andreasson J, Johansson T. ‘Sis Science’ and Fitness Doping: Ethnopharmacology, Gender and Risk. Social Sciences. 2020; 9(4):55.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sverkersson, Ellen, Jesper Andreasson, and Thomas Johansson. 2020. "‘Sis Science’ and Fitness Doping: Ethnopharmacology, Gender and Risk" Social Sciences 9, no. 4: 55.

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