MEN ARE BRO-ING STEADY
Tops gal pals: study
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.”