Athletes and Anabolic Steroids

Watch the following video on epigenetics.

In what ways is your health impacted by genetics?

In what ways is your health impacted by environment?

How does epigenetics change how we pass information from generation to generation?

Does this information make you think differently about passing information to your children?

II. Read the following article regarding anabolic steroid below use by athletes. Then work with a partner/small group to build a five-minute presentation that answers the following questions. Presentations can be video-based, PowerPoint, skit—it’s up to you.

If working alone, create your presentation so that it can be shared with other students online.

  • Which major glands are      influenced by performance enhancing drugs?
  • Why are steroids not allowed in      professional sports? Should they be? Use at least two pieces of evidence      to back your opinion.
  • What advice would you give an      athlete who was considering using PEDs?

Athletes and Anabolic Steroids

Although it is against most laws to do so, many professional athletes and body builders use anabolic steroid drugs to improve their athletic performance and physique. Anabolic steroid drugs mimic the effects of the body’s own steroid hormones, like testosterone and its derivatives. These drugs have the potential to provide a competitive edge by increasing muscle mass, strength, and endurance, although not all users may experience these results. Moreover, use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) does not come without risks. Anabolic steroid use has been linked with a wide variety of potentially negative outcomes, ranging in severity  from largely cosmetic (acne) to life threatening (heart attack). Furthermore, use of these substances can result in profound changes in mood and can increase aggressive behavior (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2001). Baseball player Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod)  has been at the center of a media storm regarding his use of illegal PEDs. Rodriguez’s performance on the field was unparalleled while using the drugs; his success played a large role in negotiating a contract that made him the highest paid player in professional  baseball. Although Rodriguez maintains that he has not used PEDs for the several years, he received a substantial suspension in 2013 that, if upheld, will cost him more than 20 million dollars in earnings (Gaines, 2013).

III.  Search “perceptual illusions” and “optical illusions.” Choose two illusions from each category. Using the text as a guide, describe the error that causes each image to be an illusion.

IV. The Gestalt principles of organization explain how we make sense of the world.

For this activity you will need to apply the principles to the real world.

Using your phone’s camera, the internet or magazines, find (or stage) an example for each of the five principles:

  1. Figure ground
  2. Closure
  3. Similarity
  4. Proximity
  5. Continuity

Compile your pictures of each example and provide a brief statement of how it is an example of the principle.

V. Synesthesia is a rare condition where a person’s senses are linked. Watch the following video and post your answer in the discussion board.

Do you know anybody with this condition?
How might this condition interfere with a person’s life?
If you could ask a person with Synthesis a question about their condition, what would you ask?

VI. This activity can be done either individually or with small groups.
If working in a group, assign a parenting style to each group: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, or uninvolved.
If working alone, select one of the parenting styles above.
Discuss and record how a parent with that style would react to the situations listed:
Parenting style: ___________
For each of the following, describe how the assigned parenting style would react to that situation.
Your 7 year old takes a five dollar bill from mom’s purse.
Your 13 year old is discovered smoking cigarettes.
Your 15 year old thinks she should have a later curfew on weekends.
Your 16 year old daughter is dating a 20-year-old boy.
Your 17 year old son is caught having sex with his girlfriend in his bedroom.
Your 6 year old is in trouble at school for beating up another child.
Your 16 year old took your car out without permission.
Your 4 year old colors all over the wall.

VII. Read the following vignette taken from the OpenStax Psychology LifeSpan Development chapter:


As you now know, women who use drugs or alcohol during pregnancy can cause serious lifelong harm to their child. Some people have advocated mandatory screenings for women who are pregnant and have a history of drug abuse, and if the women continue using, to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate them (Figdor & Kaeser, 1998). This policy was tried in Charleston, South Carolina, as recently as 20 years ago. The policy was called the Interagency Policy on Management of Substance Abuse During Pregnancy and had disastrous results.

The Interagency Policy applied to patients attending the obstetrics clinic at MUSC, which primarily serves patients who are indigent or on Medicaid. It did not apply to private obstetrical patients. The policy required patient education about the harmful effects of substance abuse during pregnancy. . . . [A] statement also warned patients that protection of unborn and newborn children from the harms of illegal drug abuse could involve the Charleston police, the Solicitor of the Ninth Judicial Court, and the Protective Services Division of the Department of Social Services (DSS) (Jos, Marshall, & Perlmutter, 1995, pp. 120–121).

Answer the following questions and provide feedback for other student responses.

Should legal action be taken against women who are pregnant and using drugs? Why or why not?

VIII. As many points in time, we have all decided to “sit this one out” and not make a decision one way or the other. For instance, maybe you didn’t vote in the last election. Or maybe you told the woman in the parking lot that you “didn’t really see what happened” with the man who rear-ended her.

When you decide not to decide, you are still making a choice and morally responsible for the consequences. 

In groups discuss whether or not you agree with the above. Identify a specific example and be ready to discuss your position.

Individually, identify a moral dilemma that you have had and decided not to decide. Write 1-2 paragraphs that explores the following questions: Have the consequences of that decision affected you in any way? Will that experience change how you approach a similar situation in the future?

VIIII. Psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg (1927–87) posed moral dilemmas to people of all ages to determine their stage of moral development. One of his best known moral dilemmas is the Heinz dilemma. Read the following vignette taken from the OpenStax Psychology LifeSpan Development chapter.

In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1,000, which is half the cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: “No, I discovered the drug, and I’m going to make money from it.” So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man’s store to steal the drug-for his wife. Should the husband have done that?) Kohlberg, 1969, p. 379

Was the husband right or wrong? Provide your reasoning. Be sure to respond to at least one other student’s response.

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