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What’s Causing the Rise in Steroid Use Among Young, Gay Boys?


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Steroids are a quick-and-dirty way for men and women to generate muscle, and as of late, have become popular even among boys as young as 12. A new study finds that teenage boys who self-identify as gay or bisexual use the drug at an average rate six times greater than that of straight boys—a sharp disparity that health experts are at pains to explain.

Are these youths attempting to conform to unreasonable expectations of male beauty? Are they armoring themselves against anti-gay bullying? The study reveals facts about use but not about why they use.

 

About 21 percent of gay and bisexual boys said they had abused steroids at some time in their lives, compared with only 4 percent of heterosexual boys.

Gay and bisexual boys were also nearly six times as likely as heterosexual boys to report moderate use of steroids (at least 10 times) or severe use (at least 40 times), according to the report in the journal Pediatrics.