"Muscular, but not roided out": Gay male athletes and performance enhancing substances

Shaun Filiault, Murray Drummond

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are substances that can facilitate muscle growth and development. They are of appeal to a variety of individuals, including competitive athletes and persons dissatisfied with their body image-especially gay men. In this qualitative study, 16 elite gay male athletes from the United States, Canada and Australia were interviewed regarding their opinions of AAS, masculinity, homosexuality, and sport, among other issues. The athletes expressed a general dislike of AAS, asserting the substances were un-masculine, un-natural, un-healthy, and un-sportsmanlike. Despite these reservations concerning AAS, the athletes described their own use of other ergogenic substances. A contradiction thus exists between the athletes' reasons for not using AAS and the athletes' reasons for using other substances. These findings are used to critique and nuance contemporary theory in body image research, masculinity, and sexuality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-81
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Journal of Men's Health
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


    • Anabolic-androgenic steroids
    • Athletes
    • Body image
    • Gay men
    • Hegemonic aesthetic
    • Masculinity


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