The Five Challenges Of Cross-Sex Friendship

873 Words4 Pages
Many people believe that men and women cannot be friends. Like Harry in When Harry Met Sally, many people believe that sex will always have a role in these types of friendships. Research has found that there are five challenges to cross-sex friendship, and sexual attraction is one of them. Emotional bond, equality, audience, and opportunity are the other challenges. Firstly, emotional bond challenge brings up the question of whether the closeness is due to friendship or romantic love. This is often the initial question in cross-sex friendships, especially in order to determine where the relationship is going. Sexual attraction is the next challenge and whether it is present in the friendship or not. Evidently, if sexual attraction exists then…show more content…
As a matter of fact, the textbook states that in a survey given recently, 93% people revealed that they have or have had cross-sex friends (Helgeson, 2017). This also personally applies to me as I have a few male friends even when I was growing up. I think that the challenges aforementioned can arise, but it depends on the situation. For instance, the one very close male friend that I had in high school was someone that I was trying to set up with my close girlfriend, so in this case, there wasn’t a lot of challenges. There was no challenge of emotional bonding or the problem of equality. The audience challenge was somewhat present as with my other experiences with having cross-sex friends. There are people that assume that cross-sex friends are in a romantic relationship and/or heading that route. I think this can initiate the romantic feelings and the challenge of emotional bond can arise from it in that they will start to question if the emotional bond is due to any unknown romantic feelings or if it’s just from friendship. This often doesn’t bother me, but it could cause a lot issues in…show more content…
I could see it going both ways, especially with the challenges of both types of friendships that we discussed in class. I do think that personalities have a huge role in cross-sex friendships as well. For instance, as the book states, most people want an agreeable and a dependable cross-sex friend (Helgeson, 2017). These are the same characteristics that we think of in our same-sex friends, so I think this provides proof that men and women can be friends. In addition, there are many benefits to cross-sex friendship too, and this could outweigh the benefits of same-sex friendship. Early on the benefits of getting an insight of the opposite sex emerges. When children play with the opposite sex, they gain access to learning new styles of play (Helgeson, 2017). Another benefit is that it could make it easier to interact with the opposite sex if one has a better knowledge of the opposite sex. Lastly, I think one of the main benefits is to avoid jealousy and competition, which are the challenges in same-sex friendships. I believe this is even more relevant in males since competition is one of the main challenges in male same-sex friendships, which leads to less self-disclosure and lack of closeness. This could possibly lead them to seek out more cross-sex

More about The Five Challenges Of Cross-Sex Friendship

Open Document