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30 October 2007
Football Players Not Averse To Some Man-On-Man Action
by George Atkinson

A survey of former high-school American Football players has found that more than one-third had sexual relations with other men. While the size of the group surveyed was small (47 men, from the American south, Mid-West, west and north west), researcher Eric Anderson said the results showed that society's increasing open-mindedness about homosexuality had allowed sportsmen to speak more openly about these sexual activities. The study, to be published in Sex Roles, found that 40 percent of the footballers surveyed had taken part in acts intended to sexually arouse other men, ranging from kissing to mutual masturbation and oral sex.

Anderson, now of the University of Bath, UK, said that the sexual acts described differed from acts of "hazing" or team-bonding that often include pretend-homosexual acts. "The evidence supports my assertion that homophobia is on the rapid decline among male team-sport athletes in North America at all levels of play," he noted. "These findings differ from previous research on North American men who have sex with men, in several ways. First, previous research describes heterosexual men in heterogeneous group sex as men symbolically engaging in sexual practices with other men. However, I find informants actually engage in sexual activity with other men. But this does not mean that they are gay."

Anderson believes the positive portrayal of homosexuality on television, the ease with which homosexuals could gradually "come out" by using the Internet, the ability for straight men to talk with gay men on the Internet, and the decline of religious fundamentalism has made homosexuality and homosexual acts considerably less controversial for university-aged men. This had made revealing the fact they had engaged in homosexual acts easier.

"Men have traditionally been reluctant to do anything associated with homosexuality because they feared being perceived as gay," he said. "There has been pressure on them to conform to the notion that being male is about having traditionally masculine traits, in terms of dress, behaviors and sexual activities. But as more men are open about their varieties of sexuality, it becomes less stigmatized to be gay or to have sex with men. It is increasingly not a problem to act in otherwise non-traditional ways. This isn't something that would have happened 10 or 20 years ago. Times are changing and they are changing rapidly for men of this age."

Related articles:
Sexuality Not So Clear-Cut For New York Men
Straight Men Use Internet To Indulge Homosexual Fantasies

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