Heterosexual Male Relationships

The relationships that men have with each other have historically been written about as a close intimate bond with a deeply supportive connection. Until the 1950s, male friendships were still commonly described as emotionally close, particularly among men in uniform and other predominantly homosocial or same-sex environments. During childhood, male friendships are typically homosocial. This can be driven by gender role expectations of what and how boys and girls should play and by early gender messages that enforce homosocial environments, like “cooties” or teaching that boys and girls are drastically different. As children grow into late adolescence, heterosexual males start to seek out more cross-gender friendships with peers because of their potential to turn into romantic relationships. Research shows that men often expect that ...

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