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Masculine sports culture starting to accept gay sex

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coach_gumby.jpgThat's the assertion that openly gay sociologist Eric Anderson, whom most of us affectionately know as Coach Gumby (right), makes in a new study. He talked to 47 (apparently masculine) cheerleaders at American universities, all of whom played football in high school. Nineteen of them said they had had sexual contact with another man. All of them were 18-23 when Gumby interviewed them. Maybe most interestingly, they said overwhelmingly that their "social status" did not change because they were affectionate with men. The cult of masculinity, it seems, is changing.

I spoke to Gumby today about the study. He said the study doesn't claim to be proof of the number of athletes having homosexual sex, but rather it points to a shift in how our culture sees homosexuality: Guys can kiss each other, be tender with one another, even have sex, and it no longer culturally means they're gay. He said the headlines that some Web sites have run (UK Gay news has "Third of Former School American Football Players Had Gay Sexual Relations") are misleading; that is not what his study claims to say.

I'll be very interested in seeing his full report when it's published in January. -Cyd Zeigler jr.