Prior investigations of friendship patterns have reported gender differences, with women's same-gender friendships tending to be richer and having a possible therapeutic value, as compared to those of men. Compared to same-gender best friendships, opposite-gender best friendships have been described as less fulfilling for women and more fulfilling for men. The present study explored such differences more fully in a sample of 65 female and 58 male predominantly white college students. Subjects completed four modified versions of P. H. Wright's [(1985) “The Acquaintance Description Form,” In S. F. Duck and D. Pearlman (Eds.), Understanding Personal Relationships: An Interdisciplinarian Approach, London: Sage] Acquaintance Description Form, describing their actual and ideal same-gender best friendships and their actual and ideal opposite-gender best friendships. They also responded to several measures of dysphoria. In the present study, the lowest scores for the friendship scales were reported by male subjects describing same-gender friendships, both ideal and actual. For both male and female subjects, dysphoria was positively correlated with a discrepancy between ideal and actual friendships with same-gender or opposite-gender individuals.
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This paper is based on an honor's thesis in psychology submitted to the University of Michigan by the first author under the supervision of the second author.
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Elkins, L.E., Peterson, C. Gender differences in best friendships. Sex Roles 29, 497–508 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00289323
- Gender Difference
- College Student
- Social Psychology
- Lower Score
- Male Subject