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What’s With All The Straight British High School Boys Kissing Other Boys?

Kissing — or snogging, as the British (and Madonna used to) say — in high school isn’t something reserved just for couples in love. It’s also a behavior exhibited by perfectly straight blokes who just happen to enjoy the company of their male friends.

Apparently a sign the anti-gay machismo fad of earlier decades is fading, British researchers quizzing 145 university and high school students found 89 percent have kissed on the lips a straight male friend, while 37 percent took part in “sustained” kissing with another man. All of these dudes, meanwhile, identify as straight and didn’t see their lip smacks as sexual behavior.

The trend toward male same-sex smooches has skyrocketed in recent years, Anderson said. It began on the professional soccer field, where players often share exuberate kisses after goals. That made kissing between men acceptable for college and high-school players, Anderson said. Then the players took the same behaviors to nights out in pubs, spreading the trend to non-athletes. Despite stereotypes of the homophobic jock, athletes were more likely to have kissed another man than non-athletes. Just over 80 percent of non-athletes had kissed a man, compared with 95 percent of athletes.

Of the guys in the study who hadn’t shared a same-sex kiss, all found the practice acceptable. One student who had never kissed another lad joked with the researchers that when he told his friends about the study, they’d probably ensure that his classification changed. That night, Anderson received a text from the student reading, “I’m in the majority now.”

The idea that two straight guys can be affectionate with each other in public isn’t terribly new: In much of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, straight male friends hold hands and walk down the street with their arms around one another. Then again, much of that behavior isn’t looked at as “gay” in these cultures because homosexuality is a hidden, unrecognized abnormality for plenty — a concept so foreign that seeing two men kiss couldn’t be considered sexual, because two men are never sexual with each other.

The difference here, of course, is that British high school boys know plenty about The Gay. They’ve just discovered a more fun alternative to high fives. [Live Science]

By:           MAX SIMON
On:           Oct 28, 2010
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 45 Comments
    • Comixbear
      Comixbear

      Okay, time to meet some British men! ;)

      Oct 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robert
      robert

      I do wonder about the origins of the hang-ups about sex in the USA, both gay and straight (such as depictions on TV).

      Oct 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AdonisOfFire
      AdonisOfFire

      @robert:
      Them fucking puritans!

      Oct 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      This is also happening in certain parts the US. My sister flipped-out when another mother told her about a “spin the bottle” game (who knew kids still played spin the bottle?) in which my nephew was making out with another guy.

      When she confronted my nephew he was completely nonchalant, telling her that he’s not gay, but that the girls thought it was hot, and that his kissing a guy made the girls really excited to make out with him.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jouin
      Jouin

      Well I always thought it was a positive stereotype western europeans had concerning their lax ‘bonding’ attitudes or whatever this is called. It really isn’t a big deal and it shouldn’t.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GlacierGuy
      GlacierGuy

      As the rest of the world moves forward, America is moving backwards, as always. Why can’t we get with the times…..can we say “organized religion” anyone?!?! It seriously all boils down to one main road block – RELIGION! It’s the one last major hang up that is preventing this country from becoming what it can be. Can’t we all just get along and stop pointing the fingers? Two thumbs up to the ‘rest’ of the world!

      Oct 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fagburn
      Fagburn

      It’s quite high but it doesn’t really surprise me – (it’s also quite a small sample and students only).
      I’d like to know how they define “sustained” kissing, not sure they mean snogging, but be happy if I’m wrong…

      Big kiss x

      Oct 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EdWoody
      EdWoody

      Actually, as I understand it, the new word for kissing is to “pash” – as in passionate. Oh, those wacky kids.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thedarkchariot
      thedarkchariot

      Oct 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shouldn't certain gay sites & their commenters stop bullying gays too? ( John from England)
      Shouldn't certain gay sites & their commenters stop bullying gays too? ( John from England)

      @Mike:

      Why did she flip out? Is she homophobic? Nice sis!

      Oct 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matthew
      Matthew

      I’ve kissed straight guys at high school parties. It’s really not a big deal in america. I mean you wont get away with it in a more conservative state(texas) but everyone here(Las Vegas) has at least kissed a guy once(straight, bi, asexual, whatever). Oh shit, I forgot, what happens here stays here :D

      Oct 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • landon
      landon

      um how is this kiss done? Is there a difference between the gay to gay kiss with the straight to straight kiss?..

      Oct 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      @Shouldn’t certain gay sites & their commenters stop bullying gays too? ( John from England): I should’ve been more clear. My sister is totally cool. My 15yo nephew was supposed to studying at a friend’s house, so the whole lying/no-parent-at-home/spin-the-bottle/making-out-with-girls/guys “thing” caused a motherly melt-down and two weeks grounding of my nephew.

      Ah, the fond memories of H.S.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      @Matthew: Wrong, I have been kissed by a straight guy in High School at a large party in Texas.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paschal
      Paschal

      @GlacierGuy: It’s wrong to blame religion for everything. Bigotry exists without religion andtolerance exists with it.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • C. Strange
      C. Strange

      @EdWoody:
      “pash” is an Australian/NZ word. it’s definitely not new. lol.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • C
      C

      Being from England (and a student) I can tell you no one’s said pash since about 2006.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Paschal: Although I agree that you can’t blame “everything” on religion, it’s no coincidence that the most socially progressive countries on the planet are also the least religious.

      Let’s be realistic.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matthew
      Matthew

      @reason: There’s only one kind of straight guy who makes out with another guy in Texas and thats the gay kind. :D

      Oct 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vman455
      Vman455

      @Paschal: And yet, much of the anti-gay rhetoric spewed by conservatives is at least religiously charged, if not outright religiously justified. Can we say “the sanctity of marriage”?

      Oct 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Unlike women, men do not kiss each other for the benefit of a third party. Men kiss each other because it’s the way they feel about each other, and not for the benefit of a voyeur who isn’t even a part of the act.

      This is why I’m so opposed to females who kiss each other for the benefit of a sleazy male. Firstly, the sleazy male is unlikely to be friendly to gay rights. Secondly, the kissing women are trivializing female-female interactions and contributing to increased hatred towards gay people in general by doing so.

      The porn lesbians are the worst. These revolting, repulsive women need to be given short shrift.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      The guys from the Jackass movies are known to kiss each other on the lips. I’ve seen pictures of Chris Pontius and Steve-O kissing each other in this way. Neither of them identify as gay.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack
      Jack

      Well, of to Britain…

      Oct 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TedC
      TedC

      @C: It’s an old and common word in Australia. It probably became briefly trendy in the UK through imported Aussie soap operas.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      women love this …trust me….just not the ugly ones…

      Oct 28, 2010 at 7:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      There are videos on YouTube of American boys kissing other boys, some of them because girls dared them to, and they did.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael [Different person #1 using similar name]

      “Men waking down the street holding hands, etc., in the Middle East?” Mighty risky in all the countries I’ve seen.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Miguel Peralta
      Miguel Peralta

      @reason: Um, Reason, how about some details? Please! Details, now!

      Oct 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Miguel Peralta
      Miguel Peralta

      I don’t think the straight guy-on-guy kissing is wholly separate
      from sexualized kissing. Young people are much less hung up on labels and don’t feel that a little fooling around tags them as “gay”.

      The hugely popular youth-oriented TV show “Skins” had a hot male actor playing the alpha male leader of a group of UK high-schoolers. His character was largely straight, but was perfectly cool with dabbling in bisexuality, either for kicks or in order to manipulate others. This isn’t a side character; it is the star of the show and the one most girls would go for, and the one most boys would identify with. He has a hot snogging scene with an openly gay character, which gets big hits on Youtube.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thelonious
      thelonious

      @robert: Puritanism, then McCarthyism and the cold war. It’s a bit confusing exactly why, but the cold war had a lot to do with it.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 8:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GlacierGuy
      GlacierGuy

      @Paschal: I certainly don’t blame religion on ‘everything’ – but it is a MAJOR factor in the continued progress of this country. It’s the ‘everybody wants is their way’ gig! If it’s not religion preventing us from getting equal rights, then what is it? Because the churches are the first to jump in the throw large amounts of money for anti-marriage, anti-hate, anti-civil unions and anti-everything campaigns pertaining to GLBT Americans. Religion has it’s good but why can’t they stay out of of America’s bedrooms? As the old saying goes, tend to your own garden, and I’ll tend to mine. Enough said!

      Oct 28, 2010 at 9:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      Actually, American men were much more affectionate with one another prior to homosexuality becoming mainstream.

      Men in America and Europe primarily show physical affection for one another in venues where heterosexuality is presumed.

      Most guys assume their teammates are straight, so in sports you see affectionate pats, kisses and hugs.

      Only in the absence (or presumed absence) of homosexuality are heterosexual men physically affectionate with one another.

      Oct 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lou123ify
      lou123ify

      Well, guys, there is also something that is called “BISEXUALITY” you know…. XD L.O.L.

      Oct 29, 2010 at 7:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Dave at no. 32,

      I fully agree with you.

      I was at a bar about 2 years ago where the local sports team was celebrating the end of the season. The men were all over each other – arms around each other’s waists, playing with each other’s hair…genuine physical revelry which they were very comfortable with. For all intents and purpose they looked like lovers minus the kissing.

      When heterosexuality is presumed and masculinity assured – as in a sports team that has played and showered together for a season – the men are extremely comfortable with each other.

      Oct 29, 2010 at 7:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wannabegay2
      wannabegay2

      i know gays have this fetish with str8 guys, but they need to understand that str8 guys will always be str8 and gays will (almost) always be gay and thats it. the fact that 2 str8 guys kiss doesnt mean anything, besides a bit of affection, instead of a hug or handshake.

      Oct 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Soupy
      Soupy

      Be careful with the rash generalities like “gays have this fetish with str8 guys”. I don’t have one.

      Oct 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      Yeah Maybe if you were doing this survey at Eaton, Harrow, Westminster, Oxbridge or the more prestigious university of London schools.

      I would love to see the local ruffians and chavs in my neighborhood engage in some “totally not gay we’re just mates” kissing because it would be hilarious, and you know give them something to do besides intimidate my boyfriend.

      Oct 29, 2010 at 11:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thummim
      Thummim

      @Michael… I don’t know which Middle East countries you’re referring too; they are all different. However, the first time I went there I found it very confusing… so many guys walking around hand in hand or draped over each other.

      Oct 30, 2010 at 6:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hotone2me
      hotone2me

      Blah blah straight kiss.. As an openly and proud ‘mo, I too once shuffled through the normative world of strightdom. I did not mind it at all to kiss a guy given an opportunity. I didn’t because I felt that kissing anyone was sorta a big deal. Now, everyone is all in arms about what the boys across the pond are doing. One can profess their sexuality any which way they wish, it does not always mean the that who they are.

      As far as a fetish of straight guys are concerns, I believe that is totally deeply rooted in porn as a subtext and not really practical in reality. Most of the bloks I know that are open, have very little interest in fellas that would not show equal attention and effection in return. ( In short.. he must be willing to date and have a romatic relationship with another man) Which if you are not into men, that would be problematic and not a good fit.
      I just hope that lines are not being blurred as far as what is consider masculine behavior verses effeminate affectionate behavior, and calling it straight or gay.

      Oct 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael Hudston
      Michael Hudston

      Un fortunately n the 80′s when I was a British High school (we call it secondary school here in the UK) lad, you used to get beaten up for kissing another guy!

      And being gay I always wanted to kiss other guys, unfortunately it didn’t happen till Imwas in my 20′s

      Oct 31, 2010 at 12:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Malaysia
      Malaysia

      have u ever been to southeast asia? there is no such thing as affectionate male touching…

      Oct 31, 2010 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      @Malaysia – I think you miss the point.

      The point is that the UK and USA are countries that are coming out of a dark period of repression. Hence the news that in Britain a younger generation are finding it acceptable to kiss your male friends, is a real breakthrough.

      Oct 31, 2010 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @AdonisOfFire: Why do you think the Puritans left England? Too liberal.

      Nov 2, 2010 at 9:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon G.
      Jon G.

      If you like or love your guy friends, it’s pretty normal to kiss them.

      Nov 21, 2010 at 1:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2

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