Attitudes towards use of performance-enhancing substances and body modification techniques : a comparison between elite athletes and the general population
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Artikler / Articles 
Original versionSport in Society. 2009, 12(6), 737-754
Medical and technological developments open up new possibilities for modifying the body and enhancing performance in various areas of life. This study compares attitudes among Norwegian elite athletes (n ¼ 234) with attitudes in the general population (n ¼ 428). Whereas vitamins, nutritional supplements and hypoxic rooms were accepted by more than 65% of both athletes and population the rejection of EPO, anabolic steroids and amphetamines were similarly clear in both groups. The athletes were in general more reluctant to use performance enhancement means and body modification techniques than the general population. A significantly higher percentage of the population than the athletes accepted a) means to avoid memory failure in old age (61.6 versus 43.2, sig. 0.000), b) means to avoid decrease in physical fitness among old people (48.6 versus 34.7, sig. 0.005), c) liposuction (30.1 versus 12.4, sig. 0.000), d) surgery for obesity (15.3 versus 9.4, sig. 0.035), e) silicon implants (9.9 versus 5.1, sig. 0.001). The athletes were significantly more satisfied with their bodies than the population (sig. 0.000). Males were more positive about the use of performance enhancement means, whereas females were more positive about body modification techniques. Males were significantly more positive about the use of a) means that increase strength and endurance (sig. 0.002, and b) means that increase sexual performance (sig 0.000). Females were significantly more positive than males about the use of liposuction (sig. 0.000), plastic surgery on the face (sig. 0.013), surgery to combat obesity (sig. 0.000) and silicon implants (sig. 0.000).
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