20 Stories

Science: Your Dog Hates Being Hugged

Sorry, dog lovers

(Newser) - Thanks to that old wet blanket known as science, we now have compelling evidence that your dog hates it when you hug him. Dr. Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology specializing in canine behavior, says dogs nearly always show signs of stress or anxiety when being embraced, the San Francisco ... More »

Walmart's Firing of Hug-Happy Cashier Causes a Stir

Supporters are planning a protest

(Newser) - Just a few weeks before he marked his 20th anniversary working for Walmart, Frank Swanson was fired Saturday—partly for hugging his customers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The 52-year-old West Plains, Mo., cashier was canned after his supervisors told him his hugging was inappropriate, as well as for selling... More »

8th-Grade Girl Gets Detention for Hugging Classmate

Ella Fishbough violated her middle school's 'inappropriate touching' clause

(Newser) - "It was literally like a second." That's how long 14-year-old Ella Fishbough tells WKMG a supposedly "inappropriate" behavior lasted, one that has landed her in detention at Jackson Heights Middle School in Oviedo, Fla. Her offense? A quick hug she gave a classmate before the first... More »

Why Two Friends Hugged for 31 Hours

They embraced outside a library at Iowa State University to set a record

(Newser) - Two friends attending Iowa State University got bored this summer and figured they'd try to break a Guinness World Record. But which one? "We saw the world's longest hug and said 'Oh, we can do this one,'" Amanda Nerem, 19, tells ABC News . So... More »

Teacher Fights Suspension Over Hugging Autistic Child

Cops say they're looking into whether Leo Bennett-Cauchon had other 'victims'

(Newser) - A California special education teacher has spent the last two days protesting outside his employer's administration building after the school district suspended him for hugging a severely autistic 8-year-old boy. Leo Bennett-Cauchon, who was put on paid leave Feb. 3 after admitting to hugging the boy and letting him... More »

Hugs Can Help Fend Off Colds

Study finds link between more hugs, reduced risk of infection

(Newser) - Want to fend off illness? Try hugging more often. It may sound too warm and fuzzy to be true, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that more frequent hugs can help protect people from getting sick. Being stressed can cause greater vulnerability to infections, but hugs can apparently act... More »

Neighbors Give Cold Shoulder to 'Hugging Saint'

New Mexico residents don't want Indian spiritual leader to have facility for gathering

(Newser) - It sounds like a plan that should be met with warm fuzzies and hugs—literally. Devotees of India's Amma, or the " Hugging Saint, " want to build a facility outside Sante Fe to house thousands of admirers for one week each summer, but neighbors are turning a cold... More »

Most Affectionate US Olympic Team Is...

Men's volleyball, 'Wall Street Journal' determines

(Newser) - The gold medal for most on-camera displays of physical touch among US Olympic athletes goes to the men's volleyball team. The Wall Street Journal tallied up the number of high fives, group hugs, bum taps, and those one-armed "bro hugs" among US Olympic teams, and the results show... More »

Brooklyn School Bans Hugs

Parents outraged, rebellious kids keep embracing in protest

(Newser) - The Brooklyn Prospect Charter School is cracking down on that most deviant of tween behaviors: hugging. The school has instituted a rule banning hugs in the hallways, outraging many students and teachers, the Brooklyn Paper reports. Though the rule was purportedly instituted after a sixth-grader said a hug from an... More »

NJ Middle School: No Hugs Allowed

Kids: We could get detention

(Newser) - At one New Jersey middle school, hugs must wait until after the bell rings, Fox News reports. Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School's principal has labeled it a "no hugging school," with the superintendent citing "incidents of unsuitable physical interactions." Students who do embrace won't be suspended,... More »

Guys Need Hugs More

'It's not all about sex,' says one participant

(Newser) - Here's something that might surprise women, but men apparently already know: Guys need cuddling more than their girlfriends. That's the finding of a new study that looked at men and women in relationships in US, Brazil, German, Japan, and Spain. "I really appreciate it when she holds... More »

Hey, America: Stop Hugging Me

Do we really need to touch this much? asks Juliet Lapidos

(Newser) - We’re facing a hugging epidemic in America: not only do we hug our friends constantly, we’re also expected to hug our friends’ girlfriends’ coworkers, writes Juliet Lapidos in Slate . Sure, there are times when hugs are called for: when the hugger is your boyfriend, or your mother, or... More »

At Office, Anything Beyond Handshake Can be Touchy

(Newser) - After countless bear hugs, fist bumps, elbow grips, and pats-on-the-back, Elizabeth Bernstein realized that she is her office’s “touchee”—someone co-workers know will be receptive to physical demonstrations of support, she writes for the Wall Street Journal. That got her thinking: When is such touching OK, and... More »

Not All Schools Embrace Teen Hugging Fad

Kids fill hallways with displays of affection

(Newser) - Hugging is hip these days among teens: School hallways are clogged with pairs, or trios, of kids embracing, the New York Times reports. “We’re not afraid, we just get in and hug,” said a high school junior. But some schools aren’t so happy with the public... More »

'Hugging Saint' Embraces NYC

Indian spiritual leader squeezes thousands in marathon session

(Newser) - Over the past 2 days one woman has hugged more than 8,000 Manhattanites, reports the New York Times. Her name is Mata Amritanandamayi, but her followers call her Amma, or the “Hugging Saint.” She has been hugging anyone and everyone since she was a teenager in India,... More »

Teenagers Kiss Off S. African Lip-Locking Ban

They protest law that forbids smooching kids younger than 16

(Newser) - South African teenagers held a “kiss-in” yesterday to protest a new law that criminalizes romantic physical contact with anyone under 16, the Washington Post reports. The "Kissing Law” is intended to make it easier to prosecute older men sexually involved with younger girls. But the law has outraged... More »

Schools Squeeze Out Hugs

Double detention for Illinois girl a sign of the times

(Newser) - An eighth-grade student’s double detention for hugging friends at school has sparked a national debate. Rules concerning public displays of affection in school have surged over the last two decades, reports Time magazine, but there is little consensus about how far they should go in governing student behavior. Some... More »

Bush Scores as Hugger in Chief

If there's one thing Bush can do, it's embrace for the cameras

(Newser) - George W. Bush may not come off as touchy-feely, but as his California fire tour demonstrates, he’s one of the best presidential huggers of all time. In recent months, Bush has embraced literally hundreds in public, the Washington Post notes. Sure, those are mostly photo ops, but Bush’s... More »

Should Tonsil Hockey Be More Taboo?

Perhaps public displays of affection go too far

(Newser) - Birds do it. Bees do it. Even Tipper and Al do it. Smooch sloppily in public, that is. A recent rash of public heavy petting has Miss Manners everywhere exasperated, CNN reports. The year’s most outrageous makeout may be Richard Gere’s caresses of a Bollywood actress, leading to... More »

Indian Guru Embraces Life

Salon pays a call on the 'hugging saint' and meditates on the Amma empire

(Newser) - A 53-year-old fisherman's daughter from Kerala, India, stands at the center of an empire of idol worship and charitable works—stands there and hugs her disciples. Amma, a mother figure revered by many as a goddess, commands a kingdom of philanthropy, volunteerism, and merchandising, Salon reports. The reporter even jumps... More »

20 Stories