According to a new study published in the Men and Masculinity journal, a good cuddle sesh isn’t limited to romantic relationships or your ever-willing dog. Researchers Eric Anderson and Mark McCormack interviewed 40 male college student athletes in the UK, finding that 37 of the 40 — or 93% — had engaged in cuddling or spooning with the same sex. Cuddling was defined as “gentle physical contact for a prolonged period of time.”
39 of the 40 admitted to having shared a bed with another man at some point in their college career.
The study underscores the benefits of homosocial relationships — same-sex bonds of a platonic nature —and argues that the findings demonstrate changing cultural attitudes about masculinity.
McCormack explained in an interview with Huffpo:
The social taboo against cuddling has been because for two men to get close was traditionally seen as ‘gay’… But there is a generational effect here: Older men who grew up in the 1980s may still feel the need to present a very straight version of themselves, but more positive attitudes toward homosexuality in contemporary culture mean that younger men are simply less concerned about how other people view their behaviors.
British attitudes toward homosocial cuddling may be more progressive, but Americans aren’t far behind, McCormack claims.
British men are more advanced than American men in doing this, but these behaviors are still occurring, and we predict that increasing numbers of American men will engage in them as they realize the benefits of doing so.
While a sample size of 40 male students can’t produce any definitive conclusions, I can get behind any study that promotes more positive attitudes toward human sexuality and encourages people to engage in more cuddling. But hey, you don’t need science’s approval to spread the bromance.
~ Study Shows that 93% of Straight Men Cuddle with Other Men ~