The Influence of Society on Adolescents’, Views Towards Steroid Use
The three articles I have chosen are all related to adolescents and steroids. The first article is entitled, “The Effect of High School Sports Participation on the Use of Performance Enhancing Substances in Young Adulthood”. One of the issues this article focuses on is the possible correlation between high school athletes and steroid use. The second article is entitled, “Effects of Mass Communication on Attitudes toward Anabolic Steroids: An Analysis of High School Seniors”. This article primarily looks at the role of the media on adolescents’ views towards steroids. Finally, the third article is entitled, “Sociocultural Influences and Muscle Building in Adolescent Boys”. This article tests the influence of three sociocultural factors on certain muscle building techniques, including steroid use, of middle-school boys legal steroids provider.
In order to fully understand each article’s research on some aspect involving steroids, one must also be familiar with steroids themselves and society’s current position on the use of steroids in sports. The type of steroid use the research studies looked into was specifically the use of anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are a class of steroids hormones that specifically increase the production of testosterone.
As a result of the increased testosterone levels, protein synthesis within the cells also increases, allowing one to build bigger, stronger muscles in a shorter period of time. Anabolic steroids were first discovered in the 1930’s and many studies were done over the next fifty years exploring the effects of the new drug. Years later, Ben Johnson’s victory in the 1988 Summer Olympics gave rise to the controversial issue of steroid use in the world of sports that is still discussed today. In the U.S., anabolic steroids are currently a Schedule III controlled substance maintained under the Controlled Substances Act. It was amended in 1990 “to provide criminal penalties for illicit use of anabolic steroids and for coaches and others who endeavor to persuade or induce athletes to take anabolic steroids, and for other purposes”. In professional sports, anabolic steroids have been banned by all major sports bodies, including Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Therefore, it is very evident that those who have relative power in the sports world do not view anabolic steroids kindly. However, the articles I will be discussing will examine the views of adolescents towards steroids, including the future use of them, the role of the media, and sociocultural factors, in relation to sports and in relation to themselves.
The first article, “The Effect of High School Sports Participation on the Use of Performance-Enhancing Substances in Young Adulthood”, examines the relationship between participation in high school sports and the use of anabolic steroids or legal performance enhancing substances as young adults. The study analyzed data from approximately 15,000 adolescents, ranging in grade from 7-12, were administered a questionnaire measuring steroid use, supplement use, sport participation, demographic information, physical activity, and substance use. Follow-up questionnaires were handed out one year and six years later testing the same measures as the original questionnaire. The three main goals of the study were to look at the prevalence of legal performance enhancing substance use, the impact of sports participation on performance-enhancing substance use, and the relationship between steroids and legal performance enhancing substances.
Recently, the number of performance enhancing substance one can obtain has increased dramatically. Past research measuring the prevalence of performance enhancing substances has revealed two trends: (1) males are more likely to take performance enhancing substances than females (gender difference), and (2) legal performance enhancing substances are more commonly used than anabolic steroids, which are illegal. Analysis of the collected data for the study supported these two trends. Males were almost seven and a half times more likely than females to report having used anabolic steroids within the past year, and males were almost sixteen times more likely to report having used legal performance enhancing substance within the past year. The main reason for this gender difference is the higher demand for muscles in male-dominated sports versus female-dominated sports. For example, there is a much greater need for muscles in a sport played primarily by males i.e. football than in a sport played primarily by females i.e. field hockey.
The second goal of the study was to look at sports participation’s impact on the use of performance enhancing substances in a way never done before. The study specifically examined high school sports participation as a predictor for future performance enhancing substance use as a young adult. The data analysis revealed that males are four times as likely as females to use anabolic steroids if they do not participate in high school sports during adolescence. While if they did participate in high school sports during adolescence, males were sixteen times more likely to use anabolic steroids. In terms of legal performance enhancing substances, adolescents who participated in high school sports were reported at one and half times more likely to take some form of supplements as a young adult than those who did not participate in sports. Through these trends, the sporting environment clearly has an effect on one’s decision to take performance enhancing substances. “Sports participation during adolescence may increase the value a person places on physical fitness and, in so doing, causes individuals to seek out fitness-related environments as young adults” where performance enhancing substances may be more easily attainable.