Straight young men kiss homophobia goodbye

Oct 29, 2010

Researchers at the University of Bath have found that heterosexual male students are more comfortable kissing their friends than ever before.

Their research shows that university students now see nothing wrong with showing friendship to another man through a kiss on the lips.

Dr Eric Anderson, from the University’s Department of Education, found that 89 per cent of white undergraduate at two UK universities and one sixth form college, said they were happy to kiss another man on the lips through friendship. Men of other ethnicities were not studied.

He found that 36 per cent of these men have also engaged in sustained , initially for shock value, but now they occur just for “a laugh”.

Dr Anderson said: “Heterosexual men kissing each other in friendship is an offshoot of what happens when homophobia is reduced. At these universities, overt homophobia has reduced to near extinction, permitting those men to engage in behaviour that was once taboo.

“Men are kissing each other in university clubs and pubs, in front of their peers, and for many it serves as an occasional, exuberant greeting or banter when partying. The kiss is a sign of affection in student social spaces, a sign of victory on the pitch, or celebration at a nightclub but it does not have a sexual connotation in any of these spaces.

“It seems generally younger people are becoming more and more open minded with each generation.”

Adi Adams, who is studying a PhD in Sociology at Bath, helped Dr Anderson with the research.

He said: “We noticed that more and more men were kissing each other in clubs or after scoring a goal as a form of celebration, and many would put pictures of themselves kissing their friends on Facebook. We then began our research and realised that the way men tell each other that one has made it into their circle of close friends is to kiss. In this respect men are catching up with women who regularly use a kiss as a sign of affection to a female friend.”

Adi, who is heterosexual, added: “My first experience of kissing a man was at uni and I was bit taken aback, but now it feels like a normal act of friendship. It doesn’t feel that it threatens my masculinity or heterosexuality – instead it is becoming part of acceptable masculinity and heterosexuality.”

University of Bath undergraduate Daniel Eagles said he didn’t have a problem with kissing his male friends.

He said: “I am comfortable to kiss my friends in situations such as their birthday or when someone scored a goal or just if we are having a laugh. Physical contact with your friends helps to bring you closer. I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for more than a year and she doesn’t think anything of it when I kiss my guy friends.”

Dr Anderson’s research is published online in the prestigious journal, Archives of Sexual Behaviour. He is now expanding his research to see how these attitudes are affected by race and social class.

Explore further: Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Broken bones and medication

Oct 05, 2010

Although one in four women over 50 develops osteoporosis, most are unaware they have the disease — something Professor Suzanne Cadarette would like to change.

Figuring out suicidal behavior

Oct 13, 2010

Matthew Nock is the son of an auto mechanic, a Harley-Davidson aficionado, and the first member of his family to graduate from college. He’s now also a tenured member of the Harvard faculty.

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

snivvy
not rated yet Oct 29, 2010
Must be something in the drinking water. Drink Beer!
mongander
not rated yet Oct 29, 2010
I could probably kiss a dyke.
rgwalther
not rated yet Oct 30, 2010
Yea , I've noticed a lot of same sex lip kissing with the Special Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and kissing has become big with NFL starting linebackers. It must make them feel all warm and cozy. I don't care about YOUR sexual orientation, but, straight or otherwise, I am not interested in watching, reading or even hearing about it.
RETT
not rated yet Oct 31, 2010
Though it is easy to agree with those who say that this is not a representative study, the point that is coming out is that sexuality is not a constant nor is it binary. Various levels of hormones in our systems and various circumstances can change over time. The more interesting surveys are those that measure the number of men who have experienced homosexual acts in prison without being coerced. In that all male environment, a high percentage have gay sex of one variety or another. Then, we start to think of another all male environment, various sports and maybe fraternities. I've always wondered about guys who insisted on group dating with their sports buddies or other male buddies and coincidentally their dates rather than spend time on their own with a female. Actually, most of them would rather go out drinking and carousing with their buddies without any females than going on a date with one female, especially one that could be regarded as their equal or superior. Kiss who?

More news stories

Clippers and coiners in 16th-century England

In 2017 a new £1 coin will appear in our pockets with a design extremely difficult to forge. In the mid-16th century, Elizabeth I's government came up with a series of measures to deter "divers evil persons" ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...