Peer pressure is defined in the cultural dictionary as The social influence a peer group exerts on its individual members, as each member attempts to conform to the expectations of the group. Steroid abuse (i.e. use of the drug not as prescribed by a medical professional) is often stemmed from peer pressure within certain communities, such as schools or colleges, gymnasiums, or the world of competitive sports right up to professional levels.
At some point our lives, we are all affected by peer pressure, usually in a negative form; one cigarette wont kill you; go on, have another drink; everybodys doing it; what are you afraid of? Misuse of the controlled substance anabolic steroids is no different, taken primarily as a performance enhancer by athletes at all levels, or for vanity purposes. We all remember the feeling in school, wanting to be one of the popular kids, hoping to be noticed, wanting to be the most attractive. Although the majority of users are male, the female population is also influenced in this way. With its effect of increasing muscle mass while decreasing fat mass with exercise, anabolic steroids seem like the perfect answer, but beware the plethora of negative side effects associated with taking steroids.
Peer pressure isnt necessarily limited to adolescents. Lets say you go to your local gym. Youre not really a competitive athlete, but are aware of the benefits of regular exercise on your health maintenance. You choose the common combination of cardio and resistance training. You see a lot of the same regular faces, including that really macho guy. He must work out a great deal, hes got nearly 400lbs on the bench press, hes all muscle. Its a little odd that hes so muscular on such a small frame, but this is clearly testament to his strict health care regime. Hes always good about spotting for other gym goers during a heavy session, has words of encouragement for those needing a little motivation. One day, he comes over to you in the locker room post-workout. He asks if youve ever considered the addition of a little juice to your routine, because if you had, he has a connection. While he doesnt over impress his ideas on you, there are the little subtle suggestions: How else do you think I get all the girls; You kinda look like SonSo Bigshot, but some more weights could do you a favor. That niggling question in the back of your mind has been answered, but could it really make you look like that? Those 400lbs certainly does look cool. And he doesnt seem to suffer much in the way of side effects. But then again, youre not seeing the mood swings, the sometime aggression, the liver damage, and so forth. This walking advertisement for steroid benefits probably wont be able to lift much of anything by the time hes 40. Muscular damage and diseases such as osteoporosis will set in; unrealized damage caused by pushing the human body to do things it wasnt designed for. What you just experienced was peer pressure to look like the impossible body images portrayed by the media the world over.