By Don Hooton, Jr. | Contributor
When it comes to the use of Appearance & Performance Enhancing Substances, including anabolic steroids, there is a perception that only males, primarily male athletes, use these substances to help them achieve their physical goals. What always seems to shock people is when they learn that surveys continue to state a large and growing number of females also admit to using these drugs.
In a recent survey from the summer of 2019 completed by Washington D.C.-based Digital Citizens Alliance, we learned that 8% of females surveyed admitted to using anabolic steroids. That is an eye-opening number, and it should be! Most people believe that this issue is only happening in professional sports and believe that people are using these substances to help them perform on the field of play. Yet, as part of that survey, the respondents reported that 53% of the users cited “improve physical appearance” as the reason they use these drugs.
Take a few moments today to look at some of the advertisements that companies are running and take note of how many females in these ads are half dressed or wearing revealing outfits. In a society that is driven by body image, it’s no surprise females feel pressure to use anabolic steroids with the mindset that they are the key to achieving what society tells us is a “perfect body.” The most thought-provoking question when it comes to taking drastic measures to achieve “society’s perfect body,” is, “Do females know what the health risks of using these drugs actually are?” We’d like to think that people have an understanding of the health risks associated with the use of anabolic steroids, but sadly this is a topic that is rarely talked about in our social groups as well as in our schools. Typically, when we do talk about this topic amongst ourselves, it’s not about females using these drugs to try and improve their physique, rather it’s which athlete is using these drugs to perform or who has recently tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs in professional sports.
As the nation’s leading organization on the subject of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances, the Taylor Hooton Foundation is proud to recognize the growing number of female leaders who have stepped forward to be role models for our young girls. These are females who have made it to the pinnacle of their profession without the use of drugs, and they are proud to tell others that when they compete in sports and in life they are ALL ME®, that they do not use banned or illegal substances. Mandy Marquardt, American Sprint track cyclist, says, “I believe in competing clean and representing my country with integrity. As a track cyclist living with type 1 diabetes, I’m especially in tune and aware of what I put in my body, and I’m excited to stand up as a positive role model of doing things the right way.”
Education is key to preventing teen girls from using Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances. Talk to your teenage daughters about the side effects associated with abusing anabolic steroids:
• Facial hair and body hair growth
• Decrease in the size of breasts
• A deepened voice
• Hair loss
• Acne (often severe acne)
• High blood pressure, heart disease, and other
• Amenorrhea (Irregular menstrual cycles)
For much more information on this topic and the
ALL ME® program, go to taylorhooton.org.
For much more information on this topic and the ALL ME® program, go to taylorhooton.org.