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Men's friendships, women's friendships and the alleged inferiority of the latter

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Over a decade of research utilizing a model and technique for the study of same-sex friendships has revealed some unsought and initially unexpected differences between men and women. Relevant aspects of this research are reviewed. Taken as a whole, the findings indicate overall differences between men and women that were readily interpretable in terms of traditional sex roles and socialization practices. However, when differences were found, they were seldom extremely large or glaringly obvious and thus provide no sound basis for predicting the character of the friendship of any particular pair of men or women. Moreover, when the friendships examined were limited to those that were very strong and of long duration, no appreciable sex differences were found. Special attention is given to the contention that women's friendships are inferior to those of men.

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Wright, P.H. Men's friendships, women's friendships and the alleged inferiority of the latter. Sex Roles 8, 1–20 (1982).

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