Our intrepid reporter Sarah Kershaw ventures boldly into the halls of Pascack Hills High in Montvale, New Jersey, where she is informed by junior Danny Schneider that gender as we know it has ceased to exist.
“We’re not afraid, we just get in and hug,” said Danny Schneider, a junior at the school, where hallway hugging began shortly after 7 a.m. on a recent morning as students arrived. “The guy friends, we don’t care. You just get right in there and jump in.”
And it's not just in New Jersey. All across the nation, the flower of manhood are bravely flinging their arms around one another, risking the ire of school administrators.
[S]chools from Hillsdale, N.J., to Bend, Ore., wary in a litigious era about sexual harassment or improper touching — or citing hallway clogging and late arrivals to class — have banned hugging or imposed a three-second rule.
Youth vs. authority! Shifting social norms! My God, it's a trend! We have here the elements of a newspaper story. But it's not really meaty enough for the New York Times. To make it worthy of the Grey Lady, we have to know: Will somebody make some sciencey noises for us? Is there a pop-culture buzzword? Can we make an incredibly awkward reference to hip-hop culture? And can we blame it on the Facebook?
But Amy L. Best, a sociologist at George Mason University, said
The prevalence of boys’ nonromantic hugging (especially of other boys) is most striking to adults. Experts say that over the last generation, boys have become more comfortable expressing emotion, as embodied by the MTV show “Bromance,” which is now a widely used term for affection between straight male friends.
But some sociologists pointed out that African-American boys and men have been hugging as part of their greeting for decades, using the word “dap” to describe a ritual involving handshakes, slaps on the shoulders and, more recently, a hug, also sometimes called the gangsta hug among urban youth.
“Maybe it’s because all these kids do is text and go on Facebook so they don’t even have human contact anymore,” said Dona Eichner, the mother of freshman and junior girls at the high school in Montvale.
Okay, we're done here.