Friendship and Gender in Russia and the United States

Abstract

This study provides descriptive data that contrast patterns of friendship for men and women in Russia and the United States, based on a parallel survey conducted at comparable universities in the two countries. Both cultural and gender differences were observed. Russians reported fewer friends with whom they shared less personal information than did Americans, and women in both societies reported that their friendships are more conversation-focused and intimate than men’s. In addition, interactive effects of culture and gender were apparent in patterns of cross-gender friendships. Numerous explanations for these patterns—including differences in the social and political histories of the two countries and in the relative importance of gender role distinctions—are discussed.

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Correspondence to Virgil L. Sheets.

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Sheets, V.L., Lugar, R. Friendship and Gender in Russia and the United States. Sex Roles 52, 131–140 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-005-1200-0

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KEY WORDS:

  • friendship
  • gender
  • Russia
  • cross-cultural