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One drawback to Brennan’s study is that, unlike Kouri’s, there was evidence of attempted deception. Several people had to be excluded from the non-users’ group because they were either definitely on steroids (they failed the urine test), or probably on steroids (in the researchers’ words, they had “implausibly high muscularity and low body fat despite denial of AAS use”). However, even if a couple of users slipped in, they probably didn’t skew the data too much. The sample size for nonusers was big enough (131 people) that a few bad apples wouldn’t spoil the whole bunch, and the researchers were excluding suspiciously jacked people anyways, so if a few users did slip in, they apparently weren’t swole enough to raise any red flags.
Scientists have attempted to test the association between anabolic steroids and aggression by administering high steroid doses or placebo for days or weeks to human volunteers and then asking the people to report on their behavioral symptoms. To date, four such studies have been conducted. In three, high steroid doses did produce greater feelings of irritability and aggression than did placebo, although the effects appear to be highly variable across individuals. In one study, the drugs did not have that effect. One possible explanation, according to the researchers, is that some but not all anabolic steroids increase irritability and aggression. Recent animal studies show an increase in aggression after steroid administration.