Bromances, or close intimate relationships between two heterosexual males, have become more common as time goes on. A new study published in Men and Masculinities suggests that these bromances are actually more satisfying and rewarding for men than traditional heterosexual arrangements between a man and a woman.
Men are more comfortable and open with other men
Researchers interviewed 30 straight undergraduate men, finding that all of the subjects viewed friendships with their male friends as having less conflict, less judgment, and being more open overall than their relations with women.
The subjects of the study argued that bromances were more intimate, satisfying, and forgiving than heterosexual romances with women. The results found that men often felt they were playing a part with their girlfriends, not being able to be themselves or open up about many things.
The young men also felt that they were not able to discuss other things important to them such as interests, anxieties, health, and sexual desires. Researchers noted that the men believed women were controlling their behavior, which was a source of disdain for some of the men.
These results could be worrying for romances with women, as growing intimacy and closeness between male friends becomes more common. For example, strong male relationships could cause lifestyle changes such as differences from traditional domestic living arrangements.
The men appeared to hold negative opinions of women, believing they held grudges for too long and were too emotionally unstable. The study’s authors discuss the bromance phenomena as a possible result of declining homophobia, sexual liberalism, and inclusive masculinity.
While it is definitely healthy that young men are finding it easier to be more open and sharing with their male friends, this trend could cause lifestyle changes that threaten the future of heterosexual relationships.
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