Survey results from the most inclusive study on friendship “ever” conducted were published in a recent issue of the journal PLOS ONE.
Researchers from Chapman University suggest that this is the first national study piloted that provides extensive comparisons of same-gender and cross-gender friendships.
Study author David Fredrick explains that the role of friendship for gay men, lesbians, and bisexual men and women (GLB) has been understudied.
Fredrick and his team were interested in identifying whether or not sexual orientation could affect certain friendship variables, such as an individual’s number of friends, or how friendships could contribute to the overall wellbeing of GLB groups.
The study consisted of 25,185 participants, with an average age of 42, and included:
- 11,924 heterosexual men
- 11,800 heterosexual women
- 511 bisexual women
- 387 bisexual men
- 220 lesbian women
- 343 gay men
Study results reveal that GLB men and women and heterosexual men and women had a similar numbers of friends. Gay men and bisexual men did not report having more male friends than female friends. Furthermore, young gay men felt more comfortable speaking about their sex lives with female friends instead of male friends.
The study further concluded that the quality and quantity of close friendships were strongly linked with life satisfaction among GLB participants compared to the heterosexual participants.
Source for Today’s Article:
McNamee, D., “How do sexuality and gender affect friendships?” Medical News Today web site, July 8, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296501.php.