This article analyzes the US congressional hearings leading up to the 1990 classification of testosterone as a controlled substance and the gendered, racial, and national stakes underlying debates about hormone circulation. The move to regulate synthetic testosterone reveals broader cultural anxieties about mobility at several levels: sex hormones' status as fluctuating chemicals in the body; their ability to alter the body and thus overtly demonstrate the fluidity of sex and gender categories; the shifting medicolegal investments in linking hormones with normative sexual, racial, and national characteristics; and the flow of hormones across national borders through production and consumption. Bringing a transgender studies critique to bear on state practices and discourses that may appear marginal to the field, I suggest that although the hearings never directly reference the category of transgender, they offer important insight into the biopolitical and geopolitical contexts through which gendered subjects are produced and maintained.
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Toby Beauchamp; The Substance of Borders: Transgender Politics, Mobility, and US State Regulation of Testosterone. GLQ 1 January 2013; 19 (1): 57–78. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-1729545
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