Document Type


Date of Original Version



Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design


The current study examined the relationship between appearance and performance enhancing drug use and the men’s sexual orientation to body image and psychological well-being in a sample of 537 heterosexual men and 146 gay men. Using objectification theory as a framework, we proposed that gay men who used appearance and performance enhancing drugs (APEDs) would report the most distress across our measures of body image, internalization, and psychological well-being. Although our results did not support our hypothesized interaction between APED use and sexual orientation, we did find significant main effects as expected. Solely considering APED use, men who used both leanness and muscle-building products reported higher levels of body shame than did those who did not use either product. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with other research that has found direct relationships between the internalization of an athletic ideal and a predilection to use legal and illicit muscle enhancing supplements. Contrary to expectations, APED use was not significantly related to the men’s psychological well-being. As expected, gay men reported higher levels of internalization and more body image concerns, compared to the heterosexual men, which may contribute to lower satisfaction with life and higher neuroticism.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Psychology and Sexuality