Cover: Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography, from Harvard University PressCover: Testosterone in PAPERBACK


An Unauthorized Biography

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$19.95 • £17.95 • €18.95

ISBN 9780674271081

Publication Date: 06/14/2022


288 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

5 illus.


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Jacket: Testosterone

HARDCOVER | $29.95

ISBN 9780674725324


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A beautifully written and important book. The authors present strong and persuasive arguments that demythologize and defetishize T as a molecule containing quasi-magical properties, or as exclusively related to masculinity and males.—Linda Roland Danil, Los Angeles Review of Books

A deeply researched and thoughtful book that adds a fresh perspective to a growing body of work aiming to debunk myths about hormones.Nature

In [the authors’] hands, testosterone provides fruitful ground for understanding what it means to be human, not as isolated physical bodies but as dynamic social beings.—Erika Lorraine Milam, Science

Jordan-Young and Karkazis tear through influential studies, ripping apart notions such as that high levels of testosterone help businessmen make the risky deals that win fortunes… Fascinating.—Jessica Hamzelou, New Scientist

A critique of both popular and scientific understandings of the hormone, and how they have been used to explain, or even defend, inequalities of power.The Observer

Debunks common myths about the functions and foibles of testosterone.—Mary Rosillo, Cooper Square Review

A fascinating attempt to cast doubt on some of the more popular ideas about testosterone, but the book is really more about the messy complexity of science itself, and how science interacts with the wider culture and is shaped by it.—Robert Stirrups, The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

Tells not only a more accurate story about testosterone but also an infinitely more interesting one… An excellent book.—Lisa Wade, Men and Masculinities

Karkazis and Jordan-Young seek to expose several false narratives about their subject… Testosterone is an extended exercise in myth busting.Outside

Offers an intricately researched and fresh illustration of testosterone’s narrative, one that has been long overdue for a makeover… Testosterone is insightful scholarship for critical researchers and an approachable read for enthusiasts.—Anna Posbergh, Sociology of Sport Journal

Given the increasing attention to these issues, the book’s auspicious timing and deeply researched foundations are already having a huge effect on an important cultural conversation today.TechCrunch

A refreshing counternarrative to the urban legends that have muddied the waters between fact and fiction… A powerful testament to the continued need for an interdisciplinary dialogue surrounding the study of sex hormones.—Wendy Kline, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Eye-opening… Readers interested in the messiness of the relationship between hormones and behavior, and willing to consider that science can be far from neutral and objective, will find high-density food for thought in [this] stimulating work.Publishers Weekly (starred review)

It’s stimulating fun when the assumptions and interpretations of scientific findings must undergo major revision. It’s more than just fun when that revisionism concerns a subject rife with sociopolitical implications with a history of doing harm. Jordan-Young and Karkazis ably take on this task with respect to the perpetual misinterpretation of what testosterone has to do with behavior, a subject at the intersection of masculinity, gender, aggression, hierarchy, race, and class. This subtle, important book forces rethinking not just about one particular hormone, but about the way the scientific process is embedded in social context.—Robert M. Sapolsky, author of Behave

With Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography, we can add testosterone folklore to the mythology claiming that biology determines our character, behavior, and status. Jordan-Young and Karkazis brilliantly show how a wide range of popular beliefs and scientific research about testosterone support dangerous gender, race, and class stereotypes that blame biological differences for inequalities of power. They compel us to think more critically not only about T, but also, more broadly, about the fraught relationship between biology and social identity.—Dorothy Roberts, author of Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century

A brilliant book. With a rare combination of meticulous scholarship and page-turner style, Jordan-Young and Karkazis unravel, dissect, and ultimately explode the traditional story of testosterone. This book provides a revelation on every page, and readers will finish with a far richer understanding of the complexities of both testosterone and science.—Cordelia Fine, author of Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society

Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography shines an urgently needed light on our collective, troubling myth-making about a hormone blamed for everything from male aggression to unfair advantage in athletic competition. Through rigorous analysis and a transcendent examination of cultural narratives, it not only reexamines and challenges some of our core beliefs about T; it also traces the way bias about gender is foundational to the science used to uphold those narratives. Eye-opening, accessible, and intelligent, this book will change the way you think about masculinities, race and class, and maybe even your own body.—Thomas Page McBee, author of Amateur: A Reckoning with Gender, Identity, and Masculinity

Testosterone science does not mix well with biases, social preconceptions, and politics of all sorts. Jordan-Young and Karkazis provide a thoughtful overview of testosterone myths—their deep roots and grave consequences.—John P. A. Ioannidis, Stanford University

Everyone knows that testosterone is what makes men men, and too much testosterone is what makes some men toxic—or is it? In this timely and urgent book, Jordan-Young and Karkazis take us on a roller-coaster ride through what we know, what we think we know, and what we need to know about that most quixotic of substances: testosterone.—Sari van Anders, Queen’s University

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