Body Pressure

Study Finds That Steroid Use Is Higher Among Gay And Bi Teen Boys


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.

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  • andy_d

    The article states: “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.”

    What about the artificially heightened expectations of body image to attract partners? Look at ads, erotica and other gay-targeted media.

  • Stache1

    @andy_d: Yes obviously it’s coming from naive straight researchers who look at text books instead of TV for their answers.

  • MikeE

    @andy_d: I think you’re absolutely right, Andy. The unreal body-image that is promoted both in the media and expected from members of the gay male community is certainly a large part of what is pushing this trend to use artificial enhancers to get the “perfect body”.

    @Stache1: And yes, Stache, you would probably be quite surprised at just how isolated and naive many researchers are about the “real world”.

  • sportyguy1983

    Well, DUH!!! Look at this website and who they glorify.

  • Stefano

    @MikeE : what is the “real world” ? Is there a “fake world”?

  • Bee Gaga

    Well no offense queerty, but y’all are part of the problem as @sportyguy1983: said look at who y’all glorify on this website? I’ve been on here since I was like 16 so I’m sure there are other teens on here as well. Thankfully I’m more of a fem guy plus I’m black so I’ve never wanted a body like those manly men, give me Beyonce’s body (pre-grammy performance she’s gotten a bit too skinny I liked her more when she was thicker) minus the breast and I’m good lol

  • MK Ultra

    Body image in gay men and teens is something that really needs to be discussed more. It’s such a huge issue but it doesn’t get as much attention as it should.

  • CCTR

    @Bee Gaga: “give me Beyonce’s body” Funny man! LOL

  • robirob

    I believe a lot of gay guys want to look like alpha males or what they think an alpha male looks like.

  • Stefano

    It is easy to blame society or others….

  • fagburn

    Junk science roolz!
    Please stop printing nebulous surveys as fact.
    You may like to question and challenge stuff sometime…

  • Stefano

    @fagburn : do you have any research on the subject to show us ?

  • antgly

    So basically fems trying to attain the masculinity they’ll never reach… well at least they’ll convince themselves and themselves only that they have.

  • viveutvivas

    Yeah right, it must the bullies. What planet are these researchers from?

  • Stefano

    @viveutvivas : do you click on the link and read the article in the Associated Press?

  • SteveDenver

    @viveutvivas: I agree: it’s so that the bullies will admire their muscles, the two of them will end up in the gym alone, and the rest is overwrought porno history.

    Meanwhile, back to reality: Why not post pictures of the physical effects of steroid usage that include shrunken testicles, back-ne, acne, stretch marks and facial bone ridging. Law enforcement around the nation has used face-aging to show the effects of crystal meth abuse, and it has been effective aversion therapy.

  • Stefano

    @viveutvivas : did you click on the link and read the article in the Associated Press? I suppose YOU know more that researchers and doctors about the subject?

  • antgly

    @SteveDenver: Bullshit. They just hate their own preppy lil’ voices and have bad self-esteem.

  • Stefano

    Oups… on the subject?

  • barkomatic

    The thing is steroids make you look great when you are young, but when you hit middle age–you’ll end up looking far worse than if you hadn’t used them.

  • Jake

    Well as a 18 year old boy who is gay, I can tell you that most of early teenage years I thought the only way you can fit into the gay community is if you had a muscular body and perfect face. That was the only way you’ll have sex or even find love. And you see this a lot in television, movies, and in porn. Now I realize that this is not true but the gay community really glorifies “that type” of body, and young men who are trying to find their place in the world will see this and think this is how they are supposed to look, leading to the steroid use.

  • Stefano

    @barkomatic : i’m middle-aged, i did not use steroids, i’m not attractive or cute and i have difficulties to meet guys…and guys who took steroids, well…they look great and have a lot of hook-ups !!! LOL

  • queenrosered

    @robirob: BINGO! And when an out and proud gay man finally DOES appear happy to just “be himself” he gets nothing but flack from his own community. I’ll use a high-profile artist, Adam Lambert. He catches way more jabs in the social media from gay males than from any other source. He appears on the cover of OUT magazine with a couple straight allies and it sells more than any cover they’ve had in recent memory. Then the editor of that same magazine writes an open letter (editorial) blasting Lambert for not posing solo for the cover (his management’s decision, not his own!) Then he does a layout for Details magazine with a beautiful French female model that is quite sexy and gets blasted again for not being “gay enough” “how DARE he?” etc.. So back to the drawing board he goes for his first tour (Glam Nation Tour)and is again lambasted by the LGBT community for being “too gay, too swishy” etc. when in reality he has always been an open book about his sexuality and had already lived and worked openly in LA for 8 years BEFORE trying out for Idol. In his “real life” he self-identifies as a “top” and likes “petite, young, pretty guys” He is admired and lauded by all the PROS in the music industry yet can’t seem to catch a break on radio (most of which is owned and operated by Clear Channel, a homophobic company that makes Chick Fil A look enlightened!) His OWN songs that even reference being gay are never heard except in concert. Go listen to “Outlaws of Love” or “Aftermath” He is not given his due from the community though he has raised money and awareness over the last 5 years. Bottom line, he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.I’m a staunch straight ally and have been for the last 20 years or so but I swear, some people ARE really their own worst enemy. His body? He is tall, slender yet wide-shouldered and long-limned. He has a “swimmer’s” body.He does Pilates but he doesn’t work out in the gym 3-5 days a week to “bulk up” I had the pleasure of meeting him this last New Year’s Eve and he is gorgeously masculine and healthy looking.Shouldn’t that be enough? PS: I want to be perfectly clear about one thing..HE never complains. He just soldiers on with “haters gonna hate” as his motto.

  • viveutvivas

    Well, there are risks but to be honest, apart from legal issues, there aren’t all that many downsides to taking steroids as an adult, when done properly and in moderation. Despite the scare-mongering, the side effects are for the most part minor and easily managed. But of course teenagers should not take them.

  • jimbryant

    The study is flawed in that the sample is not a random one.

    Keep in mind that men who have homosexual feelings rarely admit to them. This means that the percentages obtained by the study in relation to gay and bisexual men are vastly inflated. The numerator might be OK but the denominator is vastly under-representative of male-male sexuality, thus the high percentages.

    In a general sense, gay men share some of the narcissistic qualities of women. However, women are far, far worse. Women spend their entire lives altering their true appearance through the use of make-up etc.

  • Sebizzar

    @Jake: Exactly right. I’m 21 and feel the pressure every day.

  • queenrosered

    @jimbryant: I know you’re simply “baiting” and I should be able to resist but I find your hatred of women so astoundingly rabid and bitter and your broad generalizations about them so ridiculous as to border on total insanity. As a straight female who has had the honor to know and befriend many gay men throughout my lifetime, I find your misogyny to be just as intolerable as any homophobia I’ve ever witnessed. I know gay men who have had sex with women and prefer male partners and on the other end of the spectrum, I know gay men who would NEVER get within 20 feet of a vagina. But in neither case have these men exhibited the utter contempt YOU show on this site almost daily. As a matter of fact, with the exception of ONE of my gay male friends, all of them have had great relationships with and adore their Moms. Your own must have been a real beaut to have scarred you so badly. Please seek help, soon.And good luck.

  • ZaneStuart

    “The nationally representative study is an analysis of government surveys from 2005 and 2007. It involved 17,250 teen boys aged 16 on average; almost 4 percent – 635 boys – were gay or bisexual. Blashill said it’s likely more recent data would show the disparities persist”.

    That this is based on surveys gives me pause.
    A survey isn’t exactly science.
    The Pediatrics site is subscription based so I’m not certain what is reported in the AP is what’s precisely presented by the Pediatrics Journal.


    I agree that the study is flawed. Your comment about women is also flawed – in that this isn’t about the similarities between homosexual men and heterosexual women.

  • murphy0071

    I have known young men to take a course of testosterone proprianate to lower voice and bulk muscle just so they can pass for straight in an extremely anti-gay milieu. Most had great success and were also made more attractive to other gay males looking for a more masculine partner. During the injections, the libido becomes heightened and some adult gays inject testosterone to improve their sexual stamina to keep up with younger partners. This should always be done under the guidance of an endocrinologist. Without proper guidance, the dangers usually outweigh the benefits.

  • Faggot

    @Stefano: Which society are you referring to?

  • Faggot

    @robirob: Which would go hand in hand with profiles on many APPs and sites: Masculine — You be too! (Arrgh!)

    What straight guy has to describe himself as masculine on a straight APP or dating website? The sissyphobia in the gay “community” is rampant.

  • LadywithaLamp

    @Faggot: I suppose one comes here for the articles yet we stay for the comments. I am not altogether certain that there is a disparity between gay and straight media influence on body image, however as a person who has tried gay dating websites and the bar scene, the fault lies within the gay male community…I never had much trouble getting dates til I hit my 40s and though I am still in shape and a decent looking guy, well you see my point.How sad and depressing to get 100 views and no winks…We really need to think about how we treat one another, I definitely would have just killed myself had I not met my husband who loves me faults and all.

  • LadywithaLamp

    @Faggot: Oh yes, I am naturally effeminate my father hated it and I took a lot of crap growing up but then to get it from my own people..????

  • alanj

    thankyou for saying that, long overdue. Time and time again his posts are flagged for the hatred they contain and yet Queerty does nothing.

  • Reid Condit

    @alanj: What’s Queerty supposed to do? Report Faggot to the thought police? Censor his comments? I don’t think he violated Comment Policy.

  • Reid Condit

    Pardon me. Above I should have written “jimbryant”, not “Faggot.”

  • Stefano

    @Faggot : “@Stefano: Which society are you referring to?” ???

  • ZaneStuart

    I doubt jimbryant is insane. I’d proffer that his rants lean more toward psychosis than insanity. In many situations medication can help to alleviate the symptoms.

    Then again, he might just be an asshat.

  • viveutvivas

    @Stefano, precisely. People can talk about self-esteem and the way things should be in an ideal world where people are loved for their inner beauty, but the hard truth is that the older you get, the better body you have to have to get *any* attention from any other guys, deep or shallow. No wonder steroid use is rampant, and it only increases with age.

  • queenrosered

    @ZaneStuart: I suspect you are correct my friend, although one almost has to admire his ability to so compellingly portray the former whilst actually being the latter…lol. ;)

Comments are closed.