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Joey Pasko (right) and friend Lucas Quagliata, both 24, hug in Philadelphia. The rise in hugging can be directly traced to declines in homophobia, a sociologist says. But some are fending off the unwanted clinch. (Akira Suwa / Philadelphia Inquirer)

Hugs are in: More young men friends embracing

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PHILADELPHIA — Joey Pasko is a hugger.

The 24-year-old illustrator from Fairmount, Pa., just isn’t into the stiff handshake or the feeble wave.

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“I like to hug people a lot. Like my guy friends, I’ll give them a big bear hug,” he said. “I’m not going to shake hands with somebody I’ve known for a long time. That feels too formal. I’m just not that formal of a guy.”

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