According to 11 unique Ways To Increase Your Testosterone Without Steroids:

If you heat up your boys by wearing tight boxers or by taking long hot baths and showers, you are just basically lowering your testosterone levels.

Is that claim backed by good research?

  • 1
    Is a posting on "lifecheats101.weebly.com" a notable claim?
    – user32299
    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:49
  • 1
    The testes are specifically placed in a way that reduces their temperature, so it makes sense that heating them up would lower your sperm count. I'm more skeptical that tighter boxers automatically means less cooling Aug 15, 2018 at 16:11
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    I think the claim is confusing the (AFAIK supported) impact of heat on sperm production/motility (and therefore fertility) vs the (AFAIK unrelated) level of testosterone.
    – BradC
    Aug 15, 2018 at 19:16
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    I've seen evidence that tight underwear can lower sperm counts, but I haven't seen that linked to testosterone, and that is just underwear generally, while the question asks about boxers specifically. Kind of a variation on an old claim.
    – Michael W.
    Aug 15, 2018 at 23:12
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    @JohnDvorak the distance of the testes from the body changes to regulate their temperature. Underwear interferes with that process, the more so the tighter it is. I'm more skeptical that a process that affects the production of sperm would have any bearing on the production of testosterone.
    – phoog
    Aug 16, 2018 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


Can't know what mysterious effects [tight] boxers might produce (since the boffins don't seem to care to test them directly), but since most (90%+) of testosterone is produced in Leydig cells, and these are not affected by temperature much

The influence of temperature on Leydig and Sertoli cell functions was investigated in two experiments. One experiment was performed with testes of men with or without varicocele, because the temperature differs between right and left testes of men with left varicocele and right testes of men without varicocele. There were no significant differences in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) receptors, and testosterone (T) concentrations among the testes. The other experiment was performed with the use of testicular organ culture. Specific binding sites for FSH, hCG, and T production were similar in cultured testes maintained at 33 degrees and 37 degrees C for 7 days. It is concluded that high temperature may not disturb Leydig and Sertoli cell functions in the short term.

Another experiment on exercising at 22C or 35C ambient temperature also found no difference in testosterone levels with respect to ambient temperature (at any time).

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So what that means is that the claim about testosterone being affected by boxers' tightness is quite doubtful. As BradC notes, there is probably confusion with spermatogenesis in such low quality sources. Note that WebMD is talking about the latter (i.e. sperm production):

Have you ever heard the debate about whether men should wear boxers or briefs? It goes something like this: Briefs are tighter, so it's possible that they can raise your body temperature above the norm for sperm to survive. So if a guy wants to be really fertile, boxers are the way to go. Truth is, this has yet to be scientifically proven.

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