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Scott O. Swain

In: Men's Friendships

Chapter 8: Men's Friendships with Women: Intimacy, Sexual Boundaries, and the Informant Role

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Men's Friendships with Women: Intimacy, Sexual Boundaries, and the Informant Role
Men's friendships with women: Intimacy, sexual boundaries, and the informant role
ScottO.Swain

Cross-sex friendship is a relatively unexamined research topic and it has received minimal attention in both anthropological (Bell, 1981) and sociological inquiries (Allan, 1989). The limited sociological research on cross-sex friendship reflects the lack of societal expectations of, and value attributed to, such friendships (O'Meara, 1989). Cross-sex friendship is a recent social phenomenon in Western culture that has emerged as an aspect of the twentieth-century trend from homosociality to heterosociality (Gagnon & Simon, 1973). In the nineteenth century friendships were almost exclusively limited to same-sex friendships as men's and women's spheres were more rigidly defined and segregated (Smith-Rosenberg, 1985). The present study investigates men's ...

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