Gender Diverse Friendships

A friend tells me the other day that she doesn’t think, in most cases, that men and women can be friends. It came up in the context of a discussion about how her boyfriend would be upset if she had a male roommate. And I found both of these things rather surprising.

I’ve watched enough sitcoms to know that the sentiment exists but I think I’d forgotten that actual people feel that way. Essentially because I know plenty of people, men and women alike, who have platonic relationships with people of all genders. I have several close male friends who would never want to sleep with me. And most of my close have other-gendered friends with no prospect of romantic relationships.

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And don’t give me this baloney about “Of course they say they won’t sleep with you.” Just because you secretly want to sleep with all of your female friends doesn’t mean that every other man on the planet wants to.

The fact is, men and women really aren’t that different, despite what sitcoms say. When studied, much stereotypical behavior attributed to men or women often shows up in both genders are similar rates. We just remember when women do a bad job parking and men refuse to apologize. It’s called confirmation bias.

Men aren’t raging sexual beasts that have to stick their dick into every vagina that crosses their path. Not every male-female relationship (when both parties are heterosexual) has an underlying sexual tension. We can, in fact, all be friends.

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