The pressure for the “perfect” body is getting to gay and bisexual teen boys, making them more likely to use steroids.
Associated Press has reported on a recently published study in the medical journal Pediatrics which found that gay and bisexual teen boys used steroids at a rate of nearly six times higher than their heterosexual counterparts.
The study aggregated multiple government studies of 17,250 teen boys from 2005-2007 with a median age of 16. 635 boys (4 percent) identified as gay or bisexual. Of that group, 21 percent of gay and bisexual boys had tried steroids, as compared to 4 percent of straight ones.
Steroid usage comes with dangerous side effects that include acne, heightened aggression, and liver damage, and these side effects are more dangerous when combined with a still developing teen body.
There are no hard answers as to why there is such a disparity between usage in straight teen boys and gay and bi teen boys, but the authors of the study hypothesize that gay and bi teen boys may feel heightened pressure to have a more muscular physique in order to fend off potential bullies.
Still, a disparity in steroid usage at such an early age should serve to start the conversation about body image in the gay community and the lengths to which some will go to achieve the bodies of the models, porn stars, and hunky actors that we see every day.
Attaining a fit physique is admirable, but one’s health should never be put at risk in the search for the “perfect” body.