Optimising and normalising the population through hormone therapies in Italian science, c. 1926-1950

Beccalossi, Chiara (2020) Optimising and normalising the population through hormone therapies in Italian science, c. 1926-1950. The British Journal of the History of Science . ISSN 0007-0874

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000906

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Optimising and normalising the population through hormone therapies in Italian science, c. 1926-1950

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

This article explores how hormone treatments were used to optimise and normalise individuals under Italian Fascism. It does so by taking the activities of the Biotypological Orthogenetic Institute − an Italian eugenics and endocrinological centre founded by Nicola Pende in 1926 − as the prime example of a version of eugenics, biotypology, which was based on hormone therapies. This essay first demonstrates that Italian Fascist biopolitics was not only concerned with increasing the size of the Italian population, but also with improving its quality. It suggests that under the Italian Fascist regime hormone therapies became eugenic tools of intervention to improve the Italian race. Second, while Pende’s Institute purportedly enhanced men and women, its activities show the extent to which the ‘techniques of normalisation’ pursued by the Fascist regime were both systematic and invasive.

Keywords:Hormones, Science, History, Biotypology, Nicola Pende, Italy, Sexology
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V380 History of Science
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V146 Modern History 1920-1949
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V220 European History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V223 Italian History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:39297
Deposited On:23 Dec 2019 12:26

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