Rise of the ‘ bro­mance’ squeez­ing out women

Weekend Herald - - WORLD - Sarah Knap­ton ‘ Dead­lock’ in Brexit talks Pales­tini­ans in show of unity Trump lashes out

The in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the “bro­mance” could threaten het­ero­sex­ual re­la­tion­ships, say aca­demics, af­ter dis­cov­er­ing that many men find close male friend­ships more emo­tion­ally sat­is­fy­ing than re­la­tion­ships with women.

In­tense male friend­ships have grown more ac­cept­able in re­cent decades as at­ti­tudes to­wards ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity changed, mean­ing men no longer fear show­ing af­fec­tion to­wards each other.

But re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Winch­ester warned that bro­mances, cou­pled with the ease at which men can now en­gage in ca­sual sex, are en­dan­ger­ing re­la­tion­ships with women.

Af­ter sur­vey­ing 30 un­der­grad­u­ates, they dis­cov­ered that 28 would rather talk about emo­tional is­sues with their male friends than with their girl­friends. The ma­jor­ity also said it was eas­ier to re­solve con­flicts with men, and ad­mit­ted they kept se­crets from part­ners which they shared with male friends.

Dr Ste­fan Robin­son of the Univer­sit y of Winch­ester said the re­sults, pub­lished in the jour­nal Men and Mas­culin­i­ties, were “sig­nif­i­cant and wor­ry­ing” for women. “These men cher­ish their close male friends, so much so that they may even pro­vide a chal­lenge to the or­tho­doxy of tra­di­tional het­ero­sex­ual re­la­tion­ships,” he said. “Be­cause het­ero­sex­ual sex is now achiev­able with­out the need for ro­man­tic com­mit­ment, the bro­mance could in­creas­ingly be­come recog­nised as a gen­uine life­style re­la­tion­ship, whereby two men can live to­gether and ex­pe­ri­ence all the ben­e­fits of a tra­di­tional het­ero­sex­ual re­la­tion­ship.”

All the men in­volved in the study had had “bro­man­tic” friends who they lived with, and had known for at least 18 months.

Of the 30 men in­ter­viewed, 29 said that they had ex­pe­ri­enced cud­dling with a same- sex friend, and many ad­mit­ted they of­ten slept in the same bed.

One man sur­veyed said: “It’s like hav­ing a girl­friend, but then not a girl­friend.”

When asked to de­scribe the dif­fer­ence be­tween a “bro­mance” and a ro­mance, an­other un­der­grad­u­ate an­swered: “Sex re­ally. That’s all.”

Robin­son added: “There are, how­ever, sig­nif­i­cant and wor­ry­ing re­sults here for women.

“These men per­ceived women to be the pri­mary reg­u­la­tors of their be­hav­iour, and this caused dis­dain for them as a whole in some in­stances.

“Much in the same way that women are por­trayed in con­tem­po­rary cin­ema as ob­jects for male grat­i­fi­ca­tion, sev­eral of the par­tic­i­pants spoke of women they knew in a gen­er­ally neg­a­tive way.” A mid- air col­li­sion is be­lieved to have caused the death of three sky­divers in north Queens­land. It’s un­der­stood one of the vic­tims was found in a back­yard at Mis­sion Beach while the other two were found in a nearby tree, about 1.5km away from the reg­u­lar land­ing zone. A woman in her 50s and two men aged in their 30s were treated for crit­i­cal in­juries but died at the scene. Po­lice be­lieve the solo sky­diver may have col­lided with the tan­dem sky­divers in mid- air, with their para­chutes fail­ing to open prop­erly. An eye­wit­ness told the Cairns Post news­pa­per that he could do noth­ing as he watched the in­ci­dent un­fold yes­ter­day af­ter­noon. “You could see one chute was tan­gled and it wasn’t open­ing,” said the un­named man. Brexit talks have hit a dead­lock on the key is­sue of Bri­tain’s exit bill in the di­vorce, the Euro­pean Union’s chief ne­go­tia­tor said yes­ter­day, adding that the slow- mov­ing talks won’t be broad­ened any­time soon to in­clude fu­ture trade re­la­tions. Giv­ing a down­beat as­sess­ment of the lat­est round of ne­go­ti­a­tions, EU ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier said de­spite the talks’ re­cent “con­struc­tive spirit . . . we haven’t made any great steps for­ward”. On the ques­tion of how much Bri­tain has to pay to set­tle its fi­nan­cial com­mit­ments to the bloc, he said: “We have reached a state of dead­lock, which is dis­turb­ing.” Barnier said he would not be able to rec­om­mend to EU lead­ers meet­ing next week that “suf­fi­cient progress” has been made to broaden the talks to dis­cussing fu­ture EU- Bri­tish re­la­tions, in­clud­ing trade. The lead­ers meet in Brus­sels on Oc­to­ber 19 and 20, and with time short to seal a deal it had been hoped they would agree to widen the talks. The EU says this can only hap­pen when there has been progress on the is­sues of the fi­nan­cial set­tle­ment, the rights of cit­i­zens af­fected by Brexit and the sta­tus of the North­ern Ire­land- Ire­land bor­der. Bri­tain is on track to leave the 28- na­tion bloc in March 2019. The Pales­tinian mil­i­tant group Ha­mas has backed a plan to be­gin rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with its ri­val, Fatah, af­ter more than a decade at log­ger­heads that left the Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries split be­tween com­pet­ing lead­er­ships. Pales­tinian of­fi­cials said the deal stip­u­lates that a unity gov­ern­ment formed in 2014 and led by Pales­tinian Author­ity Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas’ Fatah party will run the Gaza Strip un­til a new ad­min­is­tra­tion is formed be­fore the end of the year. But thorny ob­sta­cles that have blocked past unity bids — in­clud­ing the fate of Ha­mas’ pow­er­ful armed wing — have not yet been dis­cussed. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump lashed out at hur­ri­cane- dev­as­tated Puerto Rico yes­ter­day, in­sist­ing in tweets that the fed­eral Gov­ern­ment can’t keep send­ing help “for­ever” and sug­gest­ing the US ter­ri­tory was to blame for its fi­nan­cial strug­gles. His broad­sides trig­gered an out­cry from Democrats in Wash­ing­ton and of­fi­cials on the is­land, which has been reel­ing since Hur­ri­cane Maria struck three weeks ago, leav­ing death and de­struc­tion in an un­par­al­leled hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis. San Juan Mayor Car­men Yulin Cruz tweeted that the Pres­i­dent’s com­ments were “un­be­com­ing” and “seem more to come from a ‘ Hater in Chief ’.” “Mr Pres­i­dent, you seem to want to dis­re­gard the moral im­per­a­tive that your ad­min­is­tra­tion has been un­able to ful­fil,” the mayor said in a state­ment.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Winch­ester warned that bro­mances are en­dan­ger­ing re­la­tion­ships with women.

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