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Clashing masculinities: steroids and the law
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 14:07 authored by Edwina James
In Australia, steroids are increasingly used, licitly and illicitly, by a range of men and women. A new law targeting anabolic steroids, Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment (Assault and Intoxication) Act, was introduced in 2014, but only severely punishes illicit users. Given the increasing licit use of steroids in Australia, the severity of the punishment for illicit possession can only be explained by looking at the law as operating on the symbolic level, with steroids symbolising a deviant, violent masculinity. Ethnographic accounts of a range of illicit and licit steroid users show how people are differentially impacted by this new law. Beyond the law, biomedicine and gender are two other significant institutions shaping the experience of steroids in Australia. This research brings a range of steroid users into conversation with each other to unpack how institutions differentially shape the steroid experience depending upon who is using the drug and to what end.