Male bra – also known as a compression bra, compression vest, or gynecomastia vest – refers to brassieres that are worn by men. Men sometimes develop breasts and the estimates of those with the condition are presented as a range "because the definition of gynecomastia varies and the method of surveying varies." Although there are options for treating gynecomastia, some elect surgery to reduce their breasts or wear a male bra. Male bras typically flatten rather than lift.
Men who choose to wear a brassiere may broadly be divided into two categories, depending on whether the brassiere is worn primarily for utilitarian purposes, or as a part of cross-dressing. Some men who have large breasts as a result of obesity or gynecomastia may choose to wear a brassiere to provide support for their breasts and to flatten their appearance. Other men wear bras for cross-dressing, for sexual purposes such as transvestic fetishism or feminization, or as a form of submission to their partner. Petticoat discipline may also involve male bra wear. Additionally, some male athletes – more specifically runners – may choose to wear a sports bra under their shirts in order to prevent a common medical condition called jogger's nipple, also known as nipple chafing. This condition is caused by excessive rubbing of wet sweat-soaked material over one's nipples. The condition, often very painful, can be prevented by wearing a sports bra.
Although some bras for men have been developed, they often differ only superficially from their female counterparts. There is sometimes no medical necessity for men to wear bras, and the same considerations for and against apply regardless of gender.
In sport, a male bra is often used by sporting clubs to evaluate players with real-time statistics. It contains a tracking device (similar to a woman's sports bra with a heart rate monitor) that detects heart rate, distance traveled, fatigue, and other statistics that a coach can use to evaluate a player.
In popular culture
- An episode of the TV sitcom Seinfeld, titled "The Doorman", had the character Kramer invent a male bra, which he called a "bro," for Frank Costanza, who was said to have very large breasts. Frank initially decided to market the invention, but disagreed on the name (saying it was "too ethnic"), and instead wanting to call it a "Manssiere," a play on the term "brassiere."
- An episode of the American animated television sitcom Napoleon Dynamite titled "FFA", featured Napoleon revealing that he is wearing a "men's action bra" in a cutaway in which he competes in a "speed milking" contest.
- Breast fetishism
- Breast binding
- Breast reduction
- Growth hormone treatment for bodybuilding
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Cox, Therese Smith. (August 1, 2000) Charleston Daily Mail Men who develop breasts more numerous than people realize. Section: News; Page 1D.
- Read, Genevieve. (July 15, 2007) The Mercury (Hobart) The curves men hate. Section: 1; Page 16.
- Tober, Bruce (August 2004). "Boys With Breasts". BBC Four. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
- Watrous, Monica (August 26, 2007). "A Masculine Taboo". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
- McGivern, Mark & Main, Jill (January 23, 2002). "Men Are from Mars..." Daily Record. Scotland. Archived from the original on April 28, 2018. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- brassiered: a complete guide to brassiere discipline Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine
- Brassiered Husband Archived 2007-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
- "A Sports Bra for Men? YES!!". bigbustsupport.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- Timmons, Heather (29 May 2014). "It's not a man bra—it's a wearable technology optimization device". Quartz. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- Bumgardner, Wendy (July 26, 2007). "Men Who Need Chest Support". About.com. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
- Enell Sports Bra: for men Archived 2011-05-01 at the Wayback Machine
- Female Intelligence Agency: Men and bras