There was an article in Slate recently about male-female platonic relationships and why they work or don’t work. As someone who has always had a mix of friends that skews more male than female, I am always a little wary of the ‘men and women can’t REALLY be friends’ argument. The Slate article, however, puts a slightly different spin on the idea of platonic cross-gender relationships, positing that perhaps they work for people who don’t identify as clearly with their ‘normal’ gender traits.
Research shows that cross-sex friendships are more emotive than male-male relationships and less emotive than female-female ones. In my own survey of nearly 600 Slate readers, I heard from men who said that what they like about their cross-sex friendships is the ability to share without fear of judgment, and from women who said they valued the opportunity to watch sports, for example, without having to pick apart their feelings.
What do you think? Do you have close platonic friendships with members of the opposite sex? Why does it work or does it?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.