Who's on the Testosterone? Women Trying to Survive in the Macho World of Politics Are Resorting to Hormonal Help. (Features)

By Mallee, Bernard | New Statesman (1996), July 7, 2003 | Go to article overview

Who's on the Testosterone? Women Trying to Survive in the Macho World of Politics Are Resorting to Hormonal Help. (Features)


Mallee, Bernard, New Statesman (1996)


In Westminster, some female politicians have been doing drugs for years. To stand their ground in the male-dominated House of Commons, some of our female representatives apparently first need a fix. The drugs of their choice are not illegal Class As but testosterone pellets.

The hormone, usually considered the reason men want sex, is produced in small amounts by women to charge their own sexual energies. As they age, their testosterone levels dip. They may lose interest in sex and -- even more worryingly in the competitive world of politics -- their confidence is likely to plummet.

Malcolm Whitehead, a Harley Street gynaecologist, has treated women MPs with testosterone. "I have prescribed testosterone implants for female politicians in Westminster who want to compete better with their male colleagues in committee meetings and parliamentary debates," he says. "They claim the hormone boosts their assertiveness and makes them feel more powerful."

A small pellet is embedded under the skin and releases its dosage into the bloodstream over six months. The results can be dramatic.

Three years ago, 33-year-old Leslie Harrison's world fell to pieces after the software sales consultancy firm she had worked hard to build collapsed. She laid off 25 staff and dealt with angry bankrupt clients. Her energy levels dropped and her sex drive crashed.

"I lost every shred of self-confidence and felt very depressed. I went from being a driven and outgoing business executive to a paranoid wife. I was a puddle of emotion," Harrison says.

When she began using a testosterone cream prescribed by her doctor, her world suddenly Began to take shape again. She regained her sex drive. She felt powerful. With the increased male hormone levels in her blood, her confidence soared and she "aggressively" rebuilt her company.

Leslie's experience with testosterone mirrors the hormone's natural function in men. It is the basis of their drive to beat competition in love and work. But women taking testosterone to make them feel powerful in the same way is a new and, to some, alarming phenomenon.

Susie Orbach, the psychoanalyst and author, thinks it worrying that women should use testosterone to redress power relations in society: "Testosterone may or may not be elevated in women who have 'power' in the world, but does that mean testosterone should be the response to in equality? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Who's on the Testosterone? Women Trying to Survive in the Macho World of Politics Are Resorting to Hormonal Help. (Features)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.