There is so much hugging at Pascack Hills High School in Montvale, N.J., that students have broken down the hugs by type:
There is the basic friend hug, probably the most popular, and the bear hug, of course. But now there is also the bear claw, when a boy embraces a girl awkwardly with his elbows poking out.
There is the hug that starts with a high-five, then moves into a fist bump, followed by a slap on the back and an embrace.
There’s the shake and lean; the hug from behind; and, the newest addition, the triple — any combination of three girls and boys hugging at once.
“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.”
There are romantic hugs, too, but that is not what these teenagers are talking about.
Girls embracing girls, girls embracing boys, boys embracing each other — the hug has become the favorite social greeting when teenagers meet or part these days. Teachers joke about “one hour” and “six hour” hugs, saying that students hug one another all day as if they were separated for the entire summer.
A measure of how rapidly the ritual is spreading is that some students complain of peer pressure to hug to fit in. And schools 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.
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I think this article over analyzes hugging a bit too much - IMO, young people just aren't as hung up about physical contact any more. I hug all of my friends - male and female - because handshakes are so cold and a high-five makes me feel like I'm twelve years old.