Steriods


The controversial issue of steroid abuse is among the most popular of the controlled substance problems. Steroid usage in sports has many moral and ethical questions, but this has not always been the case. This situation with steroid is a case of sociocultural evolution as an adaptive process. This implies that a rational response has been created based on the social patterns concerning anabolic steroids. It also means that as the problem changed, the response to the problem also changed. Through examining the history of steroids, the patterns of large- scale societies, and the interacting networks of societies, we can then begin to understand the evolution of steroids in sports.
On November 28 of 1990 president George Bush signed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act, which solidified anabolic steroids as a schedule III controlled substance in the United States. “Anabolic steroids are not mysterious wonder drugs; they are simply man-made versions of the primary male sex hormone, testosterone”(23 Yesalis) To beginning we must first understand what an anabolic steroid is and how they originated. It has been known for centuries the male testis affect the masculine characteristics of a man. However, it wasn’t until 1849 when scientist Berthold experimented with influential chemicals produced by the testis. His results foreshadowed the fundamentals of endocrinology, which is the study of internal secretions and endocrine glands. Fifty-six years later scientist Starling gave name to those influencing chemical as “Hormones.” By definition “Hormones” means to arouse or excite. Steroids slowly worked their way into the sports world starting in the 1950’s. It first began in men’s weightlifting competition in parts of Europe and Russia, shortly after spreading to North America. The steroids spread in the same fashion to the female athlete during the mid 1960’s. Since then steroid use has diffused into other sports all around the world. Over the past three decades anabolic steroids has increased significantly in sports, and is no longer limited to elite athletes. Even though there are reported higher rates of steroids in competitive sports, there are also reported higher rates of steroids in recreational sports.


In the 1950’s scientist discover that testosterone had two distinct components, anabolic and androgenic. The androgenic aspect gives the masculine features. The term “anabolic” means tissue building. They began searching for ways to separate the two components, and soon realized that it was not possible to completely separate the two. This is how synthetic steroids were developed. Scientist began trying to create a pure anabolic steroid with less androgenic. They discovered that there were fewer side effects when there was less androgenic in the steroid, however there was less anabolic as well. The word steroid comes from the Greek language meaning solid. With out going in to great detail of how anabolic steroids chemically work; steroids affectively increase protein synthesis and cellular repair. All steroids share the number 17-carbon atom, and the number of atoms attached to it determines what type of steroid they are. Anabolic steroids are a derivative of testosterone, which is produced naturally in men and women. Men produce up to 10mgs/day and women about 10 times less than that. They are major regulators of mechanisms found within the human body. This is because they control almost every chemical reaction in our bodies. Anabolic steroids can be taken by mouth, by injection, and more recently by shin cream and patches.
Athletes use Anabolic steroids because of the increased gains. A boost of hormones increases the influential reaction within the body, and therefore increases their physical capabilities. Through anabolic steroids athletes can alter their body composition, increase strength, increase endurance, speed up recovery times, and enhance athletic performance.

Now knowing a little theory on the issue of Anabolic steroids, we can explore the sociological issue of steroids in sports. We begin our discussion by examining Anabolic steroids in sports from a sociological functionalism approach. Firstly functionalists believe societies are complex systems of interrelated and separate parts, but are influenced by each other. They also believe that societies members all belief and commit to certain values. Most importantly functionalist believe that change is a very common occurrence, but occurs for beneficial reason. Steroid use is not only illegal but also viewed upon as immoral and unethical. However, when steroids where first used the issue