The Influence of Competition and Lack of Emotional Expression in Perpetuating Steroid Abuse and Dependence among Male Weightlifters

By Khorrami, Sam; T, John | International Journal of Men's Health, January 31, 2002 | Go to article overview

The Influence of Competition and Lack of Emotional Expression in Perpetuating Steroid Abuse and Dependence among Male Weightlifters


Khorrami, Sam, T, John, International Journal of Men's Health


Addiction to anabolic-androgenic steroids among male weightlifters has historically been conceptualized and treated from a substance abuse-recovery model. This study, in contrast, examined steroid abuse and dependence through a men's issues model. Specifically, this qualitative investigation examined several themes related to competition, lack of emotional expression, body image, aggression, and the endorsement of the traditional male sex-role in perpetuating steroid abuse and dependence. Using a case study methodology, two male weightlifters in their mid-20s (who had discontinued steroid abuse for several years) served as participants (informants). Each informant was interviewed twice. Three risk factors of steroid abuse that stemmed from a men's issues model were identified and discussed. Clinicians who work with male athletes (at risk for steroid abuse) are encouraged to. be cognizant of such risk factors.

Key Words: male weightlifters, steroid abuse, competition, lack of emotional expression, body image, aggression, traditional male sex-role, addiction

Within the past two decades, researchers have examined the so-called "masculinity crisis" among many American men (e.g., Levant, 1992, 1997). The crisis for these men involves society's devaluing of the traditional masculine roles that men have been trained to value and uphold. Such roles, for instance, include being a family's sole financial provider while delegating domestic chores to one's wife, fathering children in a detached and disinterested manner, and competing with other men in competitive work environments.

Society now pressures men to adopt new, often contradictory roles involving more emotional expression, more expression of vulnerabilities, less competition with other men, less violence and aggressiveness, and stronger partnership with their wives. These newer roles include, namely, to commit to relationships, to communicate one's innermost feelings, to nurture children, to share in housework, to integrate sexuality with love, and to curb aggression and violence. Indeed, these new roles, which are in stark contrast to the roles of the traditional male sex-role, have left many men feeling disoriented, baffled, bewildered, and unsure of their masculinity, prompting some researchers to call for a re-examination of the psychology of men and masculinity (Levant & Pollack, 1995).

Consequently, researchers have recently begun to question the psychological value of men's traditional masculinity (Levant & Pollack, 1995; Nardi, 1992; Pleck, 1981). Beginning with Pleck (1981), they have challenged the belief that men need to identify with a traditional masculine gender role in order to facilitate proper personality development. They have even challenged the psychological utility of attitudes, values, and behaviors of men socialized in the traditional male sex-role (Nardi, 1992; Pleck, 1995).

Although researchers have questioned various aspects of the traditional male sex-role, relatively few have examined which components of the traditional male sex-role perpetuate substance abuse and substance dependence among men. Even fewer have examined which aspects of the traditional male sex-role contribute to the abuse and dependence of performance-enhancing drags within competitive athletic environments.

The purpose of this investigation was to understand how steroid abuse and steroid dependence were perpetuated by two components of the traditional male sex-role: an emphasis on competition and a lack of emotional expression. More specifically, the study examines men's need to be competitive with one another in various athletic environments (e.g., on the football field, in the weight room). The influence of men's emotional inexpressiveness on the initiation of steroid use was also examined. Finally, this study explored why men of relatively small stature sought to prove to themselves and to society that a significant increase in their body size translated to a feeling of being "more manly. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Influence of Competition and Lack of Emotional Expression in Perpetuating Steroid Abuse and Dependence among Male Weightlifters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.