French Study: ‘Women Better Off Braless’

By Stewart Tongue

BESANÇON, France – Women cannot prevent sagging breasts by wearing a bra. In fact, according to a leading sports-medicine specialist in France, bras actually may contribute to the problem.

Following a 15-year study of 330 18- to 35-year-old volunteers at the prestigious Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besançon, professor Jean-Denis Rouillon concluded women are better off braless.

“Our first results confirm the hypothesis that the bra is a false need,” Rouillon told news, culture and sports website France Info. “Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity. Instead, it languishes with a bra.”

Ruillon hypothesized that bras prevent proper growth of breast tissue, resulting in deterioration of muscles that naturally support the breasts in the absence of an artificial device. As support for his theory, he said several subjects reported a decrease in back pain after discarding their brassieres, presumably a side-effect of muscles strengthening to support breast weight.

However, women middle-aged women who have worn bras their entire adult lives probably would gain no benefit from discarding the devices, Ruillon said.

“It would be dangerous to advise all women to stop wearing their soutien-gorge [bra; in French, literally “throat support”], as the women involved were not a representative sample of the population,” Ruillon told The Connexion, France’s English-language newspaper.

Lingerie is a $32-billion global industry, according to published economic reports. Although bras compose only a small part of the revenues, a study like Ruillon’s could have an economic impact … to say nothing of its potential for igniting a new feminist revolution, undoubtedly to the delight of “breast men” everywhere.

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