One criticism of the book is that trans men are insufficiently considered. In the rare instances where they are mentioned, the authors either seem dismissive of their experiences or impose a somewhat patronizing narrative of how they should supposedly feel ... the authors simply erase the complex record of trans experience, presumably so that it does not contradict their claims about the effects of testosterone more generally ... Despite this failing, Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography is 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.
Karkazis and Jordan-Young strive to comprehend how scientific practice around testosterone unfolds, and explore how the results 'circulate and morph in the world' ... Jordan-Young and Karkazis challenge murky definitions ... By setting the record straight, the authors build on their past record ... Although often academic in tone, the book is leavened by a welcome informality ... An authorized biography, they note, 'sweeps away all kinds of details and smooths over contradictions'. Theirs intends to pull back a veil that has obscured the field. Still, I sometimes wanted more ... Moreover, although Jordan-Young and Karkazis are lively storytellers, every now and then an anecdote doesn’t jibe with the chapter’s content ... These quibbles, however, are minor in a deeply researched and thoughtful book that adds a fresh perspective to a growing body of work aiming to debunk myths about hormones.
Critical scrutiny of the culture of science grounds this eye-opening, original argument from Barnard gender studies professor Jordan-Young...and cultural anthropologist Karkazis ... Though the authors’ primary aim is to debunk, they do provide updates on recent research and point to underdiscussed topics such as the role of testosterone in egg follicle development. 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 Jordan-Young and Karkazis’s stimulating work.