Have you heard today’s interesting bra news? A new French study conducted by a researcher at the University Hospital of the Besançon purports that women might be better off without their bras! Don’t jump to any conclusions yet, though – the study’s findings are still being billed as “preliminary” – and the report directly contradicts other studies and medical advice that wearing a bra is beneficial for women’s breasts.
What Does the French Study Actually Say?
At the core of this French study is the researcher’s conclusion that “medically, physiologically and anatomically” breasts gained no benefit from having their weight supported. This is in direct opposition to many American doctors who say that bras help support the weight of the breast and reduce strain on the muscles of the chest wall, particularly in fuller-busted women.
Mr. Rouillon, a sports scientist, has warned that wearing a bra means “supporting tissues will not grow and even they will wither and the breast will gradually degrade.” This opinion is exactly opposite what many specialists promote here in the United States – that wearing a bra can reduce the strain on supporting tissue, particularly when doing strenuous and “bouncy” activity, that leads to degradation and “stretching” of the breast tissue.
Don’t Take the French Study Too Seriously
Which opinion is right? The short answer is: don’t take this French “study” too seriously. The professor in question only studied 330 female volunteers, and he’s been following them for 15 years. Even after a decade and a half of study, the professor is still calling his results “preliminary.” Further, he has stressed that his preliminary research was not based on a representative sample of women, “and therefore it would be dangerous to advise all women to stop wearing their bras.”
Realistically, following 330 women for 15 years is barely a blip on the radar. The sample size is far too small to be considered “representative,” and the study doesn’t necessarily take into account the activity levels of the women, their unique body types, their nutrition and myriad other factors that influence breast development. It’s virtually impossible to study this question with real scientific efficacy without a control group of women who have never worn bras, and even so, making comparisons is speculative at best without knowing how women’s’ bodies would behave in the opposite scenario – wearing bras regularly, or not wearing bras regularly.
In Conclusion: Don’t Give Up on Bras Just Yet!
In short, this French “study” is lacking in data and representative size to draw any real conclusions – let alone the conclusion that the professor is purporting. Plenty of women around the world continue to benefit from wearing bras – particularly during strenuous activity. The right bra makes breathing easier, eases strain on the shoulders and back, and can make you look more trim and fit by offering your breasts ample support. This is particularly critical for full-breasted women who really benefit, physically, from a supportive bra.
Don’t throw away your bras yet, ladies! This is one study that needs to go back to the drawing board.