More men happy to kiss male friends
Heterosexual male students are more comfortable kissing their friends than ever before, researchers found.
University students now see nothing wrong with showing friendship to another man through a kiss on the lips.
Researchers at the University of Bath found that 89% of white undergraduate men at two UK universities and one sixth form college said they were happy to kiss another man on the lips through friendship.
They found that 36% of respondents had also engaged in sustained kissing, initially for shock value, but now they occurred just for "a laugh".
Daniel Eagles, an undergraduate at the University of Bath, said he did not 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 Eric Anderson, from the university's department of education, 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.
"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."