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“Faster, Stronger, Manlier?: An Examination of Women and Doping in Sport” Charlene Weaving & Sarah Teetzel Kinesiology Graduate Department Performance.

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Presentation on theme: "“Faster, Stronger, Manlier?: An Examination of Women and Doping in Sport” Charlene Weaving & Sarah Teetzel Kinesiology Graduate Department Performance."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Faster, Stronger, Manlier?: An Examination of Women and Doping in Sport” Charlene Weaving & Sarah Teetzel Kinesiology Graduate Department Performance Enhancing Drugs: A Closer Look The Physical Body Dichotomy References Future Research Introduction :. Saltman, Ken. (1998) “Men with Breasts.” Journal of Philosophy of sport. XXV, pp World Anti-Doping Agency. (2003) World Anti- Doping Code. Montreal: World Anti- Doping Agency. Young, Iris Marion. (1988) “The Exclusion of Women from Sport: Conceptual and Existential Dimensions.” In Philosophic Inquiry in Sport. Edited by William J. Morgan and Klaus V. Meier. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics Publishers, pp From the diet of dried figs used by ancient Olympic competitors to the stimulants used by Ancient Egyptians and Roman gladiators, doping in sport took place long before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) identified it as a worrisome issue in the 1960s. Since then, the use of drugs and other practices banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency has become an enormous ethical issue in sport. Several hundred drugs enhance strength, endurance, power, and muscle control and are consequently banned in sport. The majority of these substances fall under the categories of stimulants, narcotics, anabolic agents, diuretics, and peptide hormones. Determining the prevalence of drug use in sport is extremely difficult due to the lengths guilty athletes will take to mask their use of banned substances. IOC accredited drug testing laboratories typically find 1-2% of all samples they test to show positive doping results. However, the actually percentage of athletes who use performance enhancing drugs is thought to be much higher. This is because athletes that dope (and their pharmacological suppliers) are often one step ahead of the detection agencies and use drugs that are currently undetectable. Male and female athletes face many risks if they choose to use chemical means to help shave seconds off their personal best times, run faster, jump higher, fight harder, and in Figure 1: Irish swimmer Michelle Smith Figure 2: Members of the Chinese national swimming team If women athletes to do not conform to this ideal, the media ostracizes them and labels them as unfeminine and manly. In order to help illustrate this claim refer to the figure 3. The upshot of examining this dichotomy is to help demonstrate the notion that there is much more to the issue of women doping than health factors and perversion of sport arguments. Women athletes, unlike their male counterparts, seem to face more social stigmatizations when it comes to doping practices. Bodybuilding provides an interesting example of this dichotomy because women bodybuilders must possess a significant degree of muscularity yet maintain an image of femininity. Philosopher Ken Saltman argues bodybuilding reinforces popular perceptions of “real men” and “real women” (1998: 48). Women bodybuilders require incredible amounts of muscle mass to be successful, yet to compete at the highest level they must also project a feminine look. The pornography magazine Playboy has published a special issue entitled “Playboy’s Hard Bodies,” where “buff beauties” were photographed in submissive poses as sexy soft women who sport stiletto heels and bikinis (a stereotypical feminine ideal look) (50-51). See figure 4. It seems that female bodybuilders can be muscular and achieve a certain level of “rippleness” yet they must adopt appropriate gender norms. One could argue that the only way female bodybuilders can gain acceptance is to mimic stereotypical pornography icons (makeup, large hair, bikinis, high heels and ultimately be captured as submissive and “sexy”). Figure 3: Media representation of elite women weightlifters Figure 4: A bodybuilder in a submissive pose


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