Survey results analyzed by psychologists at The Fenway Institute, an advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, found that gay and bisexual boys use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) at rates much higher than their straight counterparts - almost 6X higher.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids (testosterone and synthetic derivatives) are used to increase muscularity, which means that along with enhancing performance they can also be used to enhance appearance. Use of anabolic-androgenic steroids is associated with cardiovascular, neurological, endocrine, and psychiatric complications. Other surveys have suggested that between 1% and perhaps up to 5.4% of adolescent boys have used steroids but the authors of the paper in Pediatrics say they know of no studies examining the prevalence of steroids among gay and bisexual boys.
Aaron Blashill, PhD, and Steven Safren, PhD, analyzed a nationally-representative dataset of 17,250 US adolescent boys ages 14 – 18 years old from the 2005 and 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys to assess if there were higher rates of AAS use among gay and bisexual boys compared to heterosexual boys. They found that 21% of gay and bisexual boys compared to 4% of heterosexual boys used steroids - 5.8X more likely (95% confidence interval 4.1–8.2) to report a lifetime prevalence of steroid use, P < .001. Gay and bisexual boys were also much more likely to be heavy users of steroids, 4% compared to 0.7% of heterosexual boys.
“This is the first known study that examined the prevalence of AAS use among gay and bisexual boys. We hypothesized that a disparity would exist; however, we were rather shocked at the magnitude, with gay and bisexual boys being over 5 times more likely to use AAS compared to heterosexual boys,” said Blashill in their statement.
The authors speculate as to the causes, saying it might be increased symptoms of depression, victimization, substance use, and poor body image due to bullying, verbal and physical harassment.
Citation: Aaron J. Blashill and Steven A. Safren , 'Sexual Orientation and Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids in US Adolescent Boys', Pediatrics peds.2013-2768 February 2, 2014, doi:10.1542/peds.2013-2768
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- How Zika Infects The Placenta
- Sweet Irony: The Environmental Impacts Of GMO Sugar Science Denial
- Case For Moon: Humanity's Gateway To Solar System Exploration, Open Ended, Planetary Protection At Its Heart
- Baby Talk Words With Repeated Sounds Help Infants Learn Language
- Schrödinger's Cat Is Not Just Alive And Dead, He's Both In 2 Places At Once
- B0 Meson Lifetime Difference Measured By ATLAS
- Italian Food Scientists Are Tired Of Phony Cheese
- "Correction, I say that 20 kg of algae solution was needed per person to provide all the oxygen..."
- "Very interesting article Edzard. Not that I disagree with you and those who commented, I would..."
- "Great article about a great study. What is known of African American history jibes with this..."
- "Sweet simple and to the point. The anti sexual harassment training could begin and end right..."
- "Am I correct when I state virus can exchange certain molecules with other virus? If that is the..."
- Our Audience Is Up 700% – And Anti-Science Groups Are Going Nuts
- Tiny Vampires of the Ancient Seas
- Incentivizing Antibiotic Research
- Party Drug for Post-Surgical Pain Prevention
- Hey De Blasio-Get Off Your Sodium Podium!
- The Name Game: How Unethical Environmental Groups and Toxic Fanatics Scare You With Words