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Athlete Study Reveals Why Straight Men Cuddle Each Other

Update Date: May 01, 2014 07:15 PM EDT

Straight male athletes regularly spoon each other, a new study on masculinity reveals.

Researchers found that most male athletes snuggle up when sharing beds with their teammates.

The latest study revealed that 97.5 percent of heterosexual, male college athletes have slept on the same bed as another man, and 93.5 percent have admitted to spooning their teammates.

The findings also revealed men are discriminate when it comes to spooning. Researcher found that athletes spooned other men who they aren't friends with.

Researchers at Winchester University and Durham University studied 40 college athletes.

"In addition to cuddling, participants also engage in 'spooning' with their heterosexual male friends," researchers Eric Anderson and Mark McCormack wrote in the study.

"Highlighting the prosaic nature of bed sharing for these participants, most indicated that it was not necessary to be close friends to share a bed with someone," they added.

Some of the men believe that cuddling in bed is simply an act of friendship.

"I love a quick cuddle, just so you remember your friends are about and are there for you," one participant said.

" I feel comfortable with Connor and we spend a lot of time together," another said, according to the Daily Mail.

"I happily rest my head on Connor's shoulder when lying on the couch or hold him in bed. But he's not the only one. The way I see it, is that we are all very good and close mates," he added. "We have a bromance where we are very comfortable around each other."

While cuddling is common among athletes, the survey reveals that this behavior is more common among younger men.

"Outside of an undergraduate setting the numbers are likely to be far less," Anderson told Vocativ. "While we know, definitively, that it is a regular occurrence among 16- to 18-year-olds in addition to university students, it is not likely to exist whatsoever among 40-year-old men."

"This is both a function of the homohysteric culture that 40-year-old men experienced in their adolescence, as much as it is a function of the fact that 40-year-old men go home to sleep in bed with their spouses," he added.

"We argue that the expansion of esteemed homosocial behaviors for heterosexual men is evidence of an expansion of changing conceptions of masculinity in contemporary culture," researchers concluded.

The findings were published April in the journal Men and Masculinities.

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