2_Sex, Drugs, and Politics - Casper and Carpenter

2_Sex, Drugs, and Politics - Casper and Carpenter - Sex...

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Sex, drugs, politics and the HPV vaccine 887 © 2008 The Authors anti-vaccinationists targeted mandatory vaccine legislation and safety and ef±cacy. As with other sexualised technologies ( e.g. Viagra, male contraception), the HPV vaccine cannot be understood outside gender relations and attendant cultural politics. Here, we offer a sociological analysis of this new pharmaceutical and the ways in which it both reveals and animates the social relations of sexuality and gender. Pharmacologies of containment In examining the HPV vaccine as a gendered pharmaceutical technology, we are guided by the work of scholars who investigate the ‘ethics, markets, [and] practices’ of ‘Big Pharma’ (Petryna, Lakoff and Kleinman 2006). Pharmaceuticals offer an ideal opportunity to study the relationship between symbols and political economy. Van der Geest et al. (1996) position drugs as commodities with distinctive biographies. ‘[A] “biography” of pharma-
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