Bodybuilding, Steroids and Violence: Is there a Connection?

  • Russell P. Dobash
  • Lee Monaghan
  • R. Emerson Dobash
  • Michael Bloor


In the late 1980s the British media discovered a new and apparently widespread social problem —‘roid rage’. The phenomena of ‘roid rage’, uncontrollable malevolent aggression and violence, was reputedly linked to the use or abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids. As in the classic moral panic, the media, institutions of the state and various ‘experts’ identified bodybuilding steroid users as a new group of ‘folk devils’. A byline in the Guardian (13 Oct. 1992) made this explicit: ‘Many bodybuilders abuse steroids, leading to the violent conduct known as Roid Rage. ’ The police added an authoritative voice with one Manchester detective inspector proclaiming: ‘the abuse of anabolic steroids makes a mild man a monster’ (Manchester Evening News, 15 June 1997). The culmination of this interest was the amendment of the Misuses of Drugs acts in 1996 which made ‘possession with intent to supply’ steroids a criminal offence. Yet, the scientific evidence for the link between anabolic steroids and violence was far from conclusive.


Anorexia Nervosa Anabolic Steroid Anabolic Androgenic Steroid Steroid User Late Modernity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell P. Dobash
  • Lee Monaghan
  • R. Emerson Dobash
  • Michael Bloor

There are no affiliations available

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