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Soy Milk Sentiment: Phytoestrogens and the Making of a Chinese Metabolism

Janelle Lamoreaux
Assistant Professor, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona
Date and Time: 
Monday, October 28, 2019 - 15:30

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


Soy and soy products have become controversial figures in nutritional thinking. As a phytoestrogen, soy is often thought to have healthy effects. But soy is also classified as an endocrine disruptor, with potentially negative impacts on reproductive and developmental health. This paper does not attempt to end such debate, but instead to show how toxicologists in China think through the effects of soy on the male reproductive body in a context where soy consumption and "soy milk sentiment" are common. Through an analysis of toxicology, I show how ideas of Chinese metabolism, ethnicity and masculinity come into being in studies of soy.



Janelle Lamoreaux is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Arizona. Her research focuses on gender and science, particularly epigenetic environmental and reproductive health in East Asia.