Diagnosing the male steroid user: drug use, body image and disordered masculinity

Diagnosing the male steroid user : drug use, body image and disordered masculinity / Helen Keane

  • Health 9 (2005) 2 (April); p. 189-208


As steroid use has gained prominence as a dangerous form of substance abuse, two main sets of discourses have been deployed to investigate and ameliorate this emerging public health threat. This article examines these two discursive frameworks and their constitution of the male steroid user as psychologically disordered, drawing on a range of medical and psychological literature, The first framework understands steroid use as a form of illicit drug use, and constitutes the steroid user as an antisocial and excessively masculine subject, The second locates steroid use within the field of body image disorder, producing the steroid user as a damaged and feminized male, a vivid example of masculinity in crisis, Both of these approaches tend to dide the specificity of steroid use and its associated bodily practices in their eagerness to form it into an easily comprehended entity which can be targeted by medical and legal governance.

Original document


1 April 2005
Keane, Helen
Other organisations
Australian National University (ANU)
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Medical terms
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body image
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Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
15 December 2021
Date of last modification
30 December 2021
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