Women’s risk assessments and the gendering of online IPED cultures and communities

Ellen Sverkersson*, Jesper Andreasson, April Henning

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: This article aims to describe how women narrate their IPED use in relation to the gendering of drug cultures and communities, and to conceptually address the gender bias that has dominated the scholarly debate on IPEDs and their use relative to potential risks and harms associated with the practice.

Methods: The article takes a case study-based and theoretically informed qualitative approach to data. Two online sites where women engage in discussions about IPEDs were selected. Purposive sampling was employed for data collection and reflexive thematic analysis was used to make sense of the data.

Results: It is illustrated that women who use IPEDs engage in online discussions through a narrative of the Other. Variations in experiences and spaces for female subjectivity are overshadowed by stereotypes of women who use IPEDs. Stereotypical beliefs and inaccurate or non-adapted information for the female body, as well as men posing as women online in forums, complicate the distinction between genuine information, harm reduction, and misogyny.

Conclusion: We argue that gendered expectations and assumptions can obscure the diversity of backgrounds, experiences, motivations, and results among women within these communities. Further and diversified research is needed in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy
Early online date4 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Sept 2023


  • Fitness doping
  • IPED
  • ethnopharmacology
  • gender
  • risk
  • sis-science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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