A Mixed-Method Study of Same-Sex Kissing among College-Attending Heterosexual Men in the US

Eric Anderson, Matthew Ripley, Mark McCormack

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This is the first research to assess the prevalence of same-sex kissing among college-attending, heterosexual men in the United States. We utilized a mixed-method study of 442 quantitative surveys and 75 in-depth interviews with participants from 11 universities in order to understand the frequency, context and meanings of same-sex kissing. We found that the prevalence of kissing on the cheek among these participants was 40%, and kissing on the lips 10%. Both types of kisses were predicted by positive attitudes toward gay men and both types of kissing were generally described as non-sexual expressions of affection. We situate these empirical results within contemporary theoretical debates about masculinities and contend that the meanings associated with heterosexual masculinity are undergoing a profound shift in U.S. culture. This trend of same-sex kissing needs further attention to fully understand these shifts and the emerging homosocial and tactile experiences of young American men.

© 2018, The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-44
JournalSexuality & Culture
Issue number1
Early online date5 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • kissing
  • heterosexuality
  • masculinity
  • homosociality

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