According to an official study released by the Pediatrics journal, research shows that gay and bisexual teens use steroids at a rate that is almost six times higher than their straight peers. The study included 17,250 teen boys with an average age of 16, of which 635 of them were gay or bisexual. Out of this study group, 21 percent of gay or bisexual boys have admitted in using steroids, whereas only 4 percent of straight boys have had personal experience with this drug.
The reasons for the dramatic difference remain unclear, but experts believe that it is possible that gay and bisexual teens feel more pressure to reach the “ideal” male body type. Due to exposure from social media platforms and advertisements, teens are constantly surrounded by images of muscular men with six packs. Most of the time these images are photoshopped to display an unrealistic body type, but teens are at an age where they are more insecure about self-worth and have more body image issues. According to society's values, a man’s body is an indication of their masculinity, therefore certain teens feel the pressure to achieve this male body ideal in a short period of time.
Another reason for the possible steroid abuse is that gay and bisexual teens use steroids to build their strength and defend themselves against bullies. Although modern society is more open minded in accepting the diverse forms of sexualities, teenagers still target homosexuality or bisexuality as a weakness from their peers. At an age where everyone is trying to prove themselves and highly value other’s opinion on them, teenage boys usually resort to bullying to appear strong or masculine among their peers. Since gay or bisexual boys tend to be an easier target, they have to turn to steroids to bulk up as a form of self defense.