Advertisement

Sex Roles

, Volume 31, Issue 1–2, pp 55–77 | Cite as

Challenges confronting cross-sex friendships: “Much ado about nothing?”

  • Michael Monsour
  • Bridgid Harris
  • Nancy Kurzweil
  • Chris Beard
Article

Abstract

This research was an investigation into four challenges purported to confront cross-sex friends. One hundred and thirty eight individuals (females = 86, males = 52) completed two surveys designed to explore the extent to which the “sexual,” “emotional bond,” “audience,” and “equality” challenges were present in their cross-sex friendships. Over 98% of the participants were heterosexual, 99% were Caucasian, and approximately 5% were Hispanic. Data gathered from the first survey were analyzed using a three-way analysis of variance, with gender, type of friendship, and romantic status as the independent variables, and three of the four challenges as the dependent variables. The first survey also included open-ended questions designed to explore the nature and existence of the challenges. The second survey was in a diary format. Respondents kept a frequency count for three weeks of discussions they had with their cross-sex friend concerning the challenges, and thoughts that they had as individuals concerning those challenges. Results from both surveys indicate that though the challenges exist and have powerful effects on a small percentage of individuals in cross-sex friendships, for the majority of participants the challenges are not perceived as salient.

Keywords

Social Psychology Frequency Count Powerful Effect Emotional Bond Diary Format 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abbey, A. (1982). Sex differences in attributions for friendly behavior: Do males misperceive females' friendliness?Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 830–838.Google Scholar
  2. Bell, R. (1981).Worlds of friendship. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Bem, S. L. (1981). Gender schema theory: A cognitive account of sex typing.Psychological Review, 88, 354–364.Google Scholar
  4. Brain, R. (1976).Friends and lovers. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  5. Chafetz, J. S. (1974).Masculine/feminine or human? Itasca, IL: Peacock.Google Scholar
  6. Clark, M. S., & Mills, J. (1979). Interpersonal attraction in exchange and communal relationships.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 12–24.Google Scholar
  7. Lepp, I. (1966).The ways of friendship. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  8. Lipman-Blumen, J. (1976). Toward a homosocial theory of sex-roles: An explanation of the sex segregation of social institutions. In M. M. Blaxall & B. Reagan (Eds.),Women and the workplace. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Monsour, M. (1988).Cross-sex friendships in a changing society (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Illinois-Champaign, 1988).Dissertation Abstracts International. Google Scholar
  10. Monsour, M. (1992). Meanings of intimacy in cross and same-sex friendships.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 9, 277–295.Google Scholar
  11. Monsour, M., Betty, S., & Kurzweil, N. (1993). Levels of perspectives and the perception of intimacy in cross-sex friendships: A balance theory explanation of shared perceptual reality.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 529–550.Google Scholar
  12. O'Meara, D. (1989). Cross-sex friendship: Four basic challenges of an ignored relationship.Sex Roles, 21, 525–543.Google Scholar
  13. Paine, R. (1974). An exploratory analysis in “middle class” culture. In E. Leyton (Ed.),The compact. Newfoundland social and economic papers No. 3, Institute of Social and Economic Research. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  14. Perlman, D., & Fehr, B. (1986). Theories of friendship: the analysis of interpersonal attraction. In V. J. Derlega and B. A. Winstead (Eds.),Friendship and social interaction. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  15. Rawlins, W. K. (1992).Friendship matters: Communication, dialectics, and the life course. New York: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  16. Rawlins, W. K. (1982). Cross-sex friends and the communicative management of sex-role expectations.Communication Quarterly, 30, 343–352.Google Scholar
  17. Roberts, M. K. (1982). Men and women: partners, lovers, friends. In K. E. Davis and T. O. Mitchell (Eds.),Advances in descriptive psychology, 2, 57–78.Google Scholar
  18. Rubin, L. (1985).Just friends. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  19. Sapadin, L. (1988). Friendship and gender: Perspectives of professional men and women.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 5, 387–403.Google Scholar
  20. Shotland, R. L., & Craig, J. M. (1988). Can men and women differentiate between friendly and sexually interested behavior?Social Psychology Quarterly, 51, 66–73.Google Scholar
  21. Synder, M. (1974). The self-monitoring of expressive behavior.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 526–537.Google Scholar
  22. Synder, M., & Gangestad, S. (1986). On the nature of self-monitoring: matters of assessment, matters of validity.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 125–139.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Wright, P. H. (1988). Interpreting research on gender differences in friendship: A case for moderation and a plea for caution.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 5, 367–373.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Monsour
    • 1
  • Bridgid Harris
    • 1
  • Nancy Kurzweil
    • 1
  • Chris Beard
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ColoradoDenverUSA
  2. 2.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA

Personalised recommendations