Based on its illegality in most sports settings, it has been difficult for researchers to develop accurate estimates of anabolic steroid use but the studies to date indicate that it is widespread. For example, Blouin and Goldfield (1995) found that more than three-quarters (78%) of the sample of competitive body-builders they analyzed reported anabolic steroid use; likewise, one-in-five recreational body-builders reported such use. Another study of 16- to 19-year-old Swedish students conducted by Kindlundh et al. (1999) determined that 2.7% of these males had used steroids. Other researchers, though, found significantly lesser rates with Drewnowski et al. (1995) determining that just 0.6% of non-sporting adolescent males used steroids. Yet other studies have found a range of usage rates among different groups, with Wroblewska (1997) citing steroid usage rates of between 4% for males in general up to 75% for competitive body-builders. These respective rates translate into an enormous amount of money, with annual national spending in the United States for anabolic steroid intended for non-medical applications amount to approximately a half billion dollars in 1993 alone (Lee & Owens, 2002). Whatever the true percentages, the studies to date suggest that there are significant numbers of males engaging in musculature-building regimens that include steroids use that may carry severe healthcare consequences, including both physical and mental health issues, particularly aggressive behavior (Lee & Owens, 2002). Because the difference between harsh reality, expectations and desired outcomes contributes to self-esteem, to the extent that men (and women) fail to live up to their idealized versions of themselves will likely be the extent to which body esteem problems will result (Brownell, 1991).
Drive for Thinness
Because many eating disorders have been viewed as a female-specific problem as it relates to body image perceptions, there has been little attention given to the same forces as they apply to men. The disparities between the incidence of eating disorders between men and women would appear to justify this focus on women, with most studies that include men in their analysis at all placing the prevalence rate for men significantly lower than their female counterparts (i.e., rarely more than 10% of anorexics and 20% of bulimia cases being male (Hsu, 1990). Despite these findings, other researchers emphasize that males suffer from anorexia and bulimia (Buckley, Freyne & Walsh, 1991; Carlat & Carmargo, 1991). The causes of such eating disorders among males appear to be similar to those experienced by women as well. For example, studies have found that males who suffer