I know, I know. I can already hear it:
Ahem, now that we've gotten that out of the way allow me to convince you that I am not, and that I bring this topic up here only because this was the first "science forum" that I've found on the net. So there. I need your input. :)
Because some are no doubt wondering, I'll mention that I am not
a woman, so I do not wear a bra. Nevertheless, I find this information interesting (I'm a holistic health kind of guy), and, as I said, I'd like some commentary from the kind of people who'd be in the position to rationally critique this kind of information. That'd be you.
Also, please note in advance that these studies were done in France and Japan, so even if I could
find the actual reports written up by the scientists themselves (I haven't been able to so far), I wouldn't be able to read them. So, yes, the following could
be forgeries, misrepresentations, etc.
Without further discretion...
#1 (Source: http://www.e-sante.be/be/magazine_sante/sports_sante/soutien_gorge_question-6294-973-art.htm
The Bra in Question
July 18 2006
Gilles Goetghebuer, e-sante.be
If one believes the arguments of the textile industry, women in sport should wear special bras. A study moderates this assertion somewhat.No bra for 1 year
In 2003, a young sportswoman, Dr. Laetitia Pierrot, became interested in the question of knowing if there was any real interest in whether a woman should wear a bra or not for sports (1). For this purpose, she carried out a study of 33 volunteers who regularly participated in sport and who she asked to go without a bra for a whole year. The subjects were between 18 and 25 years, in good health, did not smoke and practised a sports activity for at least four hours per week. She separated those doing 'vertical' sports, for example gymnastics or foot racing, from 'horizontal' sports such as swimming. It is important to realise that these women stopped wearing a bra completely, not only for sport, but also in everyday life. The protocol included both biometric assessment and questionnaires at four time intervals during the studyBetter formed breasts
At the time of the first evaluation which took place at 6 weeks from the start of the study, a majority of the women reported some discomfort; it is not easy to give up a practice that has been very much a part of ones everyday life. This discomfort had improved by six months, and had gone by the end of the study, with 88% of the women reporting that they felt more comfortable and had more freedom of movement. As for the biometric assessments, there was an improvement in the quality of the tissues and better muscular development in the rotator muscles of the shoulders and the pectoralis major. An added benefit was a major reduction in the stretch marks during the first six weeks. This was explained by the absence of compression by the bra of the skin and vascular pedicles and better venous and lymphatic drainage. Other measurements confirmed the advantages of not wearing a bra. After one year, for example, it was noted that there was a clear reduction in the distance from the nipple to the shoulder bones (acromion), lifting the breast. The other measurements were similarly improved, an increase in the distance from the nipple to the bottom of the breast, and the horizontal nipple angle. On the other hand, there was no significant difference between the two sporting activities (vertical and horizontal).Conclusions
From all these biometric measurements, one can conclude that, contrary to popular opinion, the breasts do not sag if not supported. After an initial period of adaptation, the women who took part in this study did not have any complaints of discomfort while participating in sports and even gained a more positive aesthetic shape to their breasts. Something to think about.
(1) Pierrot L., Evolution du sein après l'arrêt du port du soutien gorge, étude préliminaire longitudinale sur 33 sportives volontaires, Thèse présentée le 19 décembre 2003 devant la Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie de Besançon.
(The development of the breasts after discontinuing wearing bras. Preliminary longitudinal study of 33 volunteer sportswomen. Thesis presented December 19th, 2003, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Besancon, France.)
Translated by Liberty
#2 (Source - allegedly here at one time, but it seems the link is broken: http://www.lepays.fr/jdj/06/09/17/RP/1/article_1.html
Health: Besançon doctor advises against wearing bras
Claude Mislin, September 17th, 2006
L’Alsace- Le Pays
Wearing a bra has been strongly recommended up to now, however a study undertaken in Besançon by Professor Rouillon casts doubt on "this generally accepted idea".
The majority of doctors advise women to wear a bra. However not Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, a sports medicine specialist at the University Hospital in Besançon. This is not nostalgia for the Seventies, a time when the feminist movement preached throwing this undergarment into the nettles. Following a study on the changes in the breasts in which some 250 women took part, Jean-Denis Rouillon is quite clear: wearing a bra is not, definitely not, a guarantee to keep the breasts aesthetically beautiful and well supported.The breasts became firmer and were more elevated
A thesis supervised by him by a former professional handball player, Laetitia Pierrot, concludes emphatically that "not wearing bras is supported by these women in terms of comfort and aesthetics and, contrary to the generally accepted idea, their breasts did not sag, but became firmer and more elevated". These conclusions, which go against what the medical profession has stated since the appearance of the bra in the Twenties, converge with observations carried out in the United States. "This study calls into question the practice of wearing bras, which has become entrenched in our social and cultural traditions", writes Laetitia Pierrot. While it is true that 95 % of French women wear this type of undergarment "It is curious to note that the women who do not wear them should be considered a minority" states Jean-Denis Rouillon. According to him, we have accustomed young girls to wear a bra far too early. The breasts become heavier little by little, and if they are artificially supported, the natural supportive tissues do not develop. "Thereafter, explains the professor, the women cannot think of being without one, because they wrongly believe that their breasts will sag. One should realise that those women who have never worn a bra do not have this problem." Why, then, do so many women continue to wear this accessory? If it is not for physical comfort, it is perhaps for social comfort. For some of them, it is inconceivable to be without this undergarment because of these fears.Don’t compress your breasts
On the contrary, it is not unusual to wear a bra to emphasise one’s features. Men rarely raise concerns about this. But the doctor urges caution. Certain brands of lingerie on the market push up the breasts in a way that may be aesthetically pleasing, but is not healthy. At all events, Jean-Denis Rouillon enumerates several factors favourable to "healthy development of the breasts"; exercise, avoiding obesity, developing the trunk muscles, practising breast massage to improve lymphatic drainage and, especially, not wearing an underwire bra. Other advice from the professor; absolutely avoid yo-yoing your weight, don’t compress your breasts because of the risk of breast cancer, avoid a sedentary life style and tobacco, be wary of the food practices of vegetarianism and, especially, veganism. For those women who wish to exercise in a simple tee-shirt, the professor advises that "the majority of great sportswomen do not wear bras". And to those who think that breast feeding will make their breasts lose their shape, he retorts that "breast feeding does not deform the breasts". Given that health professionals point out that women’s breasts are becoming increasingly larger, probably because of the use of the pill, the issues raised by these two doctors seem timely.
#3 (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2092072?dopt=Abstract
Institute of Human Living Sciences, Otsuma Women's University, Tokyo, Japan.
Eleven adult female subjects aged 22-39 years wore a certain brassière for 3 months while anthropometry and moiré fringe photographs on the anterior trunk were taken regularly once a week. After the 3 months, the brassière was not worn for another 3 months. Then the measurements and photogrammetry were repeated for comparison using superimposed moiré configurations. The results are summarized as follows. Regardless of slim or obese trunk, subjects with pendent breasts showed the highest degree of breast form "correction" from wearing the brassière. In all subjects, after 3 months of brassière constraint, the underbust circumference was smaller but the chest circumference became enlarged, the distance between the right and left nipples became wider, and the breasts tended to hang down. This change was more marked in obese subjects with pendent breasts. And when this type of subject wore a "well-fitted" brassière for a long time, her breast form became developed; that is, her breasts hung down more.
That's all for the 3 reports. I suppose the overriding inference to be made here (if such a thing wouldn't be premature) is that as long as bras are worn, they will take over the jobs that a woman's body would normally be forced to do on its own, decaying that particular function of the woman's body via atrophy. I suppose this would be similar to a man or woman strapping themselves down to a wheelchair for the majority of hours throughout the day, as a lifetime habit, and then find that, upon trying to adjust to a lifestyle of regular walking and running, that his or her legs are constantly sore and don't feel up to the task. No surprise there.
Your thoughts, fine thinkers?