Gay and bi teens more likely to use steroids

A recent study by Dr. Aaron Blashill at The Fenway Institute shows that gay and bi teenagers are using steroids at a rate that's six times higher than straight teens.

The study looked at over 17,000 teenage males from 2005-2007, with a median age of 16, reports Queerty. About four percent of them identified as gay or bisexual. And of that group, 21 percent had tried steroids, compared to only four percent of the straight teens.

The Advocate reports that a 2012 study of high school students found "increasingly muscular" images of men in the media, combined with easy access to steroids puts pressure on boys to look a certain way.

Blashill and the team at Fenway Health compared their data to CDC's Youth Risk Behavior study and discovered that bullying was a more significant factor.

Michael Kehler, professor at the University of Western Ontario, says that the locker room becomes a place where "masculinities are policed and scrutinized." Working out is seen as a way to "gain membership, to gain status."

For young males who are not straight, their masculinity and status is very significant. If they do not appear to be masculine enough, they could possibly be subjected to bullying.

Kehler believes that school and parents need to "rethink body image as it relates to youth understandings of what it means to be a boy and to be a man."