The (Recent) History of Man Boobs

As guys, we want big muscles – toned biceps, chiseled abs, etc. And when you look at your chest, you’d want to see it a big muscular chest that can give you the confidence to dominate a room. However, there’s a chance that when you look down, you’ll see a big chest but not because of muscles. Let’s talk about the dreaded man boobs.

What are Man Boobs?

We call it man boobs but doctors call it gynecomastia. If this is your first time encountering the phrase ‘man boobs,’ it’s literally what it sounds like. It’s a condition where the male breasts become swollen or large. If you’re a teen that’s going through this, then you’re in luck because most of the cases of gynecomastia resolves itself in time. This is mainly because the condition was simply brought about by the surge of hormones puberty brought about.

Your body is growing and sometimes, things go wrong and some parts grow instead of others. However, due to being a body chemistry issue, it fortunately resolves itself through time as the hormones in your body start to adjust and correct itself.

Although breasts are simply stores of fat, don’t confuse gynecomastia with pseudogynecomastia, a similar condition but brought about by an unhealthy increase in weight and fat. Although man boobs don’t really pose a medical threat, they do affect guys’ self-confidence and that’s enough reason to get rid of gynecomastia.


Its History

Although the word ‘boobs’ has come a long way since it was first coined in the late 1920slate 1920s, ‘man boobs’ on the other hand is a relatively recent development. Although it has been a cause of ridicule for a couple of decades now, ‘man boobs’ as a term seems to have originated in the early 2000s and quickly gained traction in popular media outlets across the Western world.

How serious is the man boob phenomenon? Not only was the phrase get contracted into ‘moobs’ soon after its inception, the word moobs has become so widespread that it has been accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary. You read that right. Moobs is a legit British word.

The history of man boobs doesn’t end in its etymology, it goes even further. The phrase for man boobs has increased in popularity because more and more people are becoming aware of it and according to Google data, keywords including “man boobs” have risen over the past few years four-fold.

Oddly this increase in popularity and awareness has been beneficial in many quarters. You see aside from helping to make snide comments about men, the term has also increased another thing: breast-reduction treatments in men. That’s right. Since more men are becoming aware that they have man boobs, search for treatments have skyrocketed ever since.

How to Know If You Have It

The most direct way of knowing if you have man boobs is to check yourself. Men usually notice this as soon as their breasts start to swell. Notably, the nipples point outward more and the areolas, the areas directly around the nipple, become more prominent.

Another thing to consider if you’re thinking if you have gynecomastia is when the condition appears in your life. Gynecomastia most commonly presents itself during puberty but has also been known to appear later in life as testosterone gets low. Gynecomastia can also present itself as a side effect of medication.


If you’re currently going through puberty, you shouldn’t worry because about 90% of cases during puberty simply resolves itself. You just have to keep on going.

If your gynecomastia is caused by something else, then treatment usually treats man boobs as well. Like if you condition is brought by low testosterone, then testosterone treatment might help. Antiestrogen drugs have also been noted to be effective at times. However, if all else fails, then surgery is the last option.


Luckily, most cases of gynecomastia are just brought about by a hormone imbalance and will just correct itself in the future. If your man boobs aren’t caused by puberty, then you can rest easy knowing that it’s treatable nonetheless.

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