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Horizontes Antropológicos

versão impressa ISSN 0104-7183versão On-line ISSN 1806-9983


MANICA, Daniela  e  NUCCI, Marina. Under the skin: subcutaneous implants, hormones and gender. Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2017, vol.23, n.47, pp.93-129. ISSN 0104-7183.

In this article, we discuss the development of hormone-based subcutaneous implants. After presenting some of the elements and controversies that were implied in implants appearance in Brazil, and taking as a focus the work of the Brazilian M.D. Elsimar Coutinho, we examine the stabilization of this alternative format of hormone delivery: subcutaneous implants. We discuss its re-conceptualization as “chips”, exploring the connections with the announcement of researches evolving the technological development of subcutaneous methods, from contemporary silicone capsules to a microchip-based device containing micro-reservoirs that can be activated through a wireless signal. Focusing on Brazilian pharmaceutical laboratory called Elmeco, that has been producing silicone implants for decades, we discuss certain hormone formulations that have been made available subcutaneously. We seek to demonstrate how the diversity of hormones being used is determined by binary gender imagery, and how the use of subdermic hormonal implants mobilizes elements connected to femininities and masculinities. We hope this analysis contributes to problematize market dynamics of medicalization and vital processes connected to bodies, gender, sexuality and reproduction.

Palavras-chave : anthropology of science and technology; gender; hormonal subcutaneous implants; medicalization.

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