Tops gal pals: study

New York Post - - NEWS - By TAMAR LAPIN tlapin@ny­

Bro­mances are more emo­tion­ally sat­is­fy­ing and re­ward­ing for men than ro­mances with women, a study pub­lished on Thurs­day found.

“The in­creas­ingly in­ti­mate, emo­tive and trust­ing na­ture of bro­mances of­fers young men a new so­cial space for emo­tional dis­clo­sure,” the re­searchers wrote in the study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Men and Mas­culin­ites.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Winch­ester in the UK in­ter­viewed 30 straight un­der­grad­u­ate men, who said that they felt less judged by their bros and that it was eas­ier to open up and re­solve con­flicts with their male friends than with their girl­friends.

“With a ro­mance,” the re­searchers found, “one was con­stantly pos­tur­ing and self-mon­i­tor­ing,” act­ing “the part of the ador­ing boyfriend” in or­der to have sex.

One test sub­ject, Har­vey, said he didn’t even feel com­fort­able di­vulging that he loves lis­ten­ing to Bey­oncé and Tay­lor Swift for fear that his girl­friend would judge him. But his bros would un­der­stand. “Most sig­nif­i­cantly, we found that th­ese young men pre­ferred and priv­i­leged their bro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships be­fore their ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships,” Adam J. White, one of the re­searchers, told The Post. “They found them more open, flex­i­ble and re­laxed than their girl­friends.”

Twenty-nine of the 30 men in­ter­viewed said they even cud­dled with and of­ten slept in the same bed as their male friends, the study found.

“We hug when we meet, and we sleep in the same bed when we have sleep­overs. Ev­ery­one knows it, and no­body is both­ered by it be­cause they do it as well,” one man named Aaron said.

“It’s like hav­ing a girl­friend but then not a girl­friend,” an­other man, Martin, said.

The re­searchers said this grow­ing co­zi­ness between bros could threaten their re­la­tion­ships with women.

“If th­ese young men are gain­ing many of the priv­i­leges of a re­la­tion­ship from their bro­mances, with the ex­cep­tion of sex, then why would they en­ter ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships, which they de­scribe as be­ing fraught with pres­sures, judg­ments and ex­pec­ta­tions?” White asked.

While the study sug­gests that men are mov­ing to­ward eas­ing up on hy­per­mas­cu­line be­hav­ior and open­ing up, most spoke about women in gen­er­ally neg­a­tive terms, call­ing them judg­men­tal and emo­tion­ally un­pre­dictable.

“The find­ings of this re­search can be re­ally pos­i­tive,” White said. “But at the same time, we did see the young men in our study of­ten sug­gest­ing the only ben­e­fit of a girl­friend was the sex.”

He added, “So, while there are some pos­i­tive find­ings re­gard­ing the soft­en­ing and broad­en­ing of ac­cept­able mas­cu­line be­hav­iors for young men, this doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily im­prove the sit­u­a­tion for women and pa­tri­archy.”


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