Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Sexual functioning of male anabolic steroid abusers

  • Howard B. Moss
  • George L. Panzak
  • Ralph E. Tarter


The effects of anabolic steroid use on male sexual behavior were assessed using a structured clinical interview administered to male body builders currently using steroids, and to two comparison groups (body builders with a past but not current history of steroid use, and a group of “natural” body builders who had never used steroids). Current anabolic steroid users had a significantly higher coital and orgasmic frequency than did comparison athletes. They also reported a significantly higher incidence of erectile difficulties during the past month. Beliefs concerning the sexually stimulating effects of steroids did not correlate with the frequencies of specific sexual behaviors. The data support the contention that anabolic steroids, as androgenic compounds, enhance sexual desire.

Key words

anabolic steroids sexual functioning male athletes 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bancroft, J. (1984). Hormones and human sexual behavior.J. Sex Marital Ther. 10: 3–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bancroft, J., Tennent, T. G., Loucas, K., and Cass, J. (1974). Control of deviant sexual behavior by drugs: Behavioral effects of estrogens and anti-androgens.Br. J. Psychiat. 125: 310–315.Google Scholar
  3. Bancroft, J. (1980). Endocrinology of sexual function.Clin. Obstet. Gynecol. 7: 253–281.Google Scholar
  4. Buckley, W. E., Yesalis, C. E., Friedl, K. E., Anderson, W. A., Streit, A. L., and Wright, J. E. (1988). Estimated prevalence of anabolic steroid use among male high school seniors.J. Am. Med. Assoc. 260: 3441–3445.Google Scholar
  5. Conacher, G. N., and Workman, D.G. (1989). Violent crime possibly associated with anabolic steroid use.Am. J. Psychiat. 146: 679.Google Scholar
  6. Davidson, J. M., Camargo, C. A., and Smith, E. R. (1979). Effects of androgen on sexual behavior in hypogonadal men.J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 48: 955–958.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Dezelsky, T. L., Toohey, J. V., and Shaw, R. S. (1985). Non-medical drug use behavior at five United States Universities: A 15-year study.Bull. Narc. 37: 49–53.Google Scholar
  8. Di Pasquale, M. G. (1984).Drug Use and Detection in Amateur Sports M. C. D. Press, Warkworth, Ontario, CA, pp. 41–82.Google Scholar
  9. Haupt, H. A., and Rovere, G. D. (1984). Anabolic steroids: A review of the literature.Am. J. Sports Med. 12: 72–475.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Jancin, B. (1989). Is athlete's steroid use a valid insanity defense?Clin. Psych. News 17: 2–15.Google Scholar
  11. Kaplan, H. S. (1974).The New Sex Therapy Brunner/Mazel in cooperation with Times Books, New York, pp. 113–21.Google Scholar
  12. Kwan, M., Greenleaf, W. J., Mann, J., Crapo, L., and Davidson, J. M. (1983). The nature of androgen on male sexuality: A combined laboratory self-report study on hypogonadal men.J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 57: 557–562.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Marshall, E. (1988). The drug of champions.Science 242: 183–184.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. O'Carroll, R., and Bancroft, J. (1984). Testosterone therapy for low sexual interest and erectile dysfunction in men: A controlled study.Br. J. Psychiat 145: 146–151.Google Scholar
  15. Persky, H., Lief, H. I., Strauss, D., Miller, W. R., and O'Brien, C. P. (1978). Plasma testosterone level and sexual behavior of couples.Arch. Sex Behav. 7: 157–173.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Rada. R. T., Laws, D. R., and Kellner, R. (1976). Plasma testosterone levels in rapist.Psychosom. Med. 38: 257–268.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Reading, A. E., and Wiest, W. M. (1984). An analysis of self-reported sexual behavior in a sample of normal males.Arch. Sex Behav. 13: 69–83.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Schiavi, R. C., Schreiner-Engel, P., White, D., and Mandeli, J. (1988). Pituitary-gonadal function during sleep in men with hypoactive sexual desire and in normal controls.Psychosom. Med. 50: 304–318.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Skakkebaek, N. E., Bancroft, J., Davidson, D. W., and Warner, P. (1981). Androgen replacement with oral testosterone undecanoate in hypogonadal men: A double-blind controlled study.Clin. Endocrinol. 14: 49–61.Google Scholar
  20. Strauss, R. H., Wright, J. E., and Finerman, G. A. M. (1982). Anabolic steroid use and health status among forty-two weight-trained male athletes.Med. Sci. Sports 14: 119.Google Scholar
  21. Taylor, W. N., and Black, A. B. (1987). Pervasive anabolic steroid use among health club athletes.Ann. Sports Med. 3: 155–159.Google Scholar
  22. World Health Organization Task Force on Psychosocial Research in Family Planning. (1982). Hormonal contraception for men: Acceptability and effects on sexuality.Stud. Fam. Plann. 13: 328–342.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard B. Moss
    • 1
  • George L. Panzak
    • 1
  • Ralph E. Tarter
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research, Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations