Female Friends and Male Friends
Stereotypes on Friendship
There is one divergence in recent gender stereotypes on friendship. Talking about female friendship and a male one, some prejudice exists, which is based on thoughts that female friendship is less stable, less sincere, and more superficial than male friendship. Women are seen to have fragile and curios relationships as far as it is believed that they are disloyal to women they call friends. At the same time, female friendship is thought to be more personal, revealing, and intimate comparatively with that between men. But, it is undoubtedly a paradox: how could something be both superficial and intimate?
Naturally, female friendship is characterized by that women are tend to go into relationships too furious and too fast with other women. It is a common thing to women to have physical closeness such as hugging and sitting close together. They spend a substantial amount of time together as soon as they always need chatting. Similarly to women, men also tend to spend a lot of time together, but physically doing things together with the spirit of team membership.
The defining characteristic of communication of men is a “locked room talk”, which includes jokes, insults, dirty stories, curse words, and more verbal aggression. But, there are very few cases among female friends when women incorporate insulting tone into their communication even if they are joking. They are mostly characterized by openness and verbal expression of their personal thoughts and opinions, as well as emotions.
It is an essential part of female friendship, as well as male one, to gather together and go out to the town. What are they talking about? Women are sharing with their deepest felling about anything; they are talking about their personal lives, children, and boyfriends and hardly ever about pedestrian things. In contrast to them, men, hanging around and playing poker, rarely talk about their lives, mostly about cards, betting, bluffing.
Female friendship commonly includes just two close friends because of women’s sense of attachment. They perceive their friendship as intense and personal. That is why many people think that a well-known expression “A friend of my friend is my enemy” is about friendship between women. However, men are inclined to get into a group of friends, usually having three and more close friends. Men, generally, put up resistance maintaining relationships that need a lot of care or attention. What is common is that men’s and women’s close friendship groups are similar in size – they both have on average five friends in their group. But men’s friendship groups are more stable considering their friendship as a team.
Numerous studies show that women respond to the stress in an absolutely different way than men do. When a woman is stressed, she usually comes to work where she is surrounded by her workmates. She has a coffee with her friend, talks about something pleasant, trying to bond with her interlocutor. But when a man is stressed, he tries to isolate himself from others, he holes up somewhere on his own.
Women have a harder time staying in touch with their friends in their late 20s and 30s. Usually, that is an age when women are very busy making a career and raising their children. There is a tendency for women of age 40 to build their friendship reconnecting with old friends, trying to find guidance and empathy. They have more time for friendship in their 40s as far as their children became self-sufficient. Men tend to build their friendship until age 30. They are more likely to find friends at university or at work and keep in touch with them all the time.
Taking everything into consideration, friendship between women is different from that between men on many aspects. Men do not share with their deep feelings with others nor probe into each other’s emotions. That is why the emotional bond between women is much stronger and higher than one between men. Women incorporate care and attention into maintaining their friendship while men are more into a tough and more practical kind of it. It is impossible to determine which kind of it is more sincere and reliable because each of them has own pros and cons. Anyway, whatever it is, friendship will always be an integral part of men’s and women’s lives.