Why Are Gay Men and Straight Women Such Good Friends?

Fairchild Archiveby Gena Kaufman, Glamour

Harry and Sally might have made everyone question the reality of male/female friendships, but Will and Grace reminded us all of what seems to be a foolproof relationship: the straight women/gay guy lovefest. In pop culture and in real life, it seems to be a platonic coupling that works for a lot of amazing friendships.


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And a new study has confirmed that there may be a reason that the two are drawn to each other. According to researchers, "straight women and gay men perceive mating advice provided by each other to be more trustworthy than similar advice offered by other individuals." The theory arose out of an experiment where heterosexual female and homosexual male participants were asked to rate the perceived trustworthiness of advice of "Jordan", a person with a Facebook profile who was alternately presented as male or female, straight or gay.

The researchers speculate that straight women may doubt advice from other straight women because of possible competition over the man in question, and they may not trust straight men because they think he has ulterior motives.

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What do you make of this? While I do love and trust my gay male friends, I still think I depend on my girlfriends for relationship advice more than anyone. In fact, I'm kind of offended at the suggestion that I wouldn't trust other straight women. And it's curious that if that's the reason, it doesn't seem to have the same effect with reversed genders, as in straight men and gay women, or for that matter, with gay men and gay women. The researchers' vague explanation there is that previous research suggests that gay men and lesbian women lack closeness in social contexts.

There's obviously more to every individual friendship than one simplistic reason, but it is interesting to look at why straight women and gay men seem to make such good pals. But whatever the reason behind the relationship might be, can I just say that I'm grateful for my friends of any gender or sexuality?

Do you have a lot of gay male friends? Do you feel like it's because you trust their advice more? Why do you think the straight woman/gay man friendship seems to be so popular?


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