The Psychosocial Effects of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is a physical condition in men and boys characterized by a swelling of the breast tissue. It’s caused by an imbalance between the hormones estrogen and testosterone and is a fairly common condition. Unfortunately, despite the prevalence of gynecomastia, there is often a social stigma attached to the condition. To make matters worse, gynecomastia commonly manifests in boys around puberty. At a time when every kid is experiencing awkward and disorienting changes to their body, the added psychosocial effects of gynecomastia can severely harm young men’s self-confidence. Fortunately, there are effective surgical options to help correct the physical condition, but mental healing may take more time.
Causes and Cultural Stigma
Every human is full of a variety of hormones that trigger responses from cells within the body. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, and estrogen is the primary female sex hormone, but both can be found in everyone. In men and boys, a decrease in the amount of testosterone relative to estrogen can express itself through ‘feminine’ features like the appearance of breasts. We have been socially conditioned to associate certain features with women and the appearance of breasts, especially when caused by an overabundance of a ‘female’ hormone, can cause severe embarrassment.
When people are ashamed of their physical appearance, it often leads to social withdrawal and self-isolation. Teasing and the disapproval of peers can discourage participation in sports, classroom activities, and social functions. Adult males hopefully have had enough time to become comfortable with their masculinity, but the physical change can still be jarring and humiliating. Insecurity at any age can be debilitating, and a lack of self-confidence can harm personal and professional relationships. Refusing to discuss the condition will only ensure that it persists—the problem won’t go away on its own.
The truth is, there’s no need to suffer in silence. Gynecomastia is common and can be easily corrected. View our gallery to see some of our results and be sure to contact us to schedule a consultation.