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Friendship expectations are prescriptive normative behaviors and highly valued qualities in ideal same-sex friends. This paper reports the results of five meta-analyses of sex differences from 37 manuscripts (36 samples, N = 8825). A small difference favoring females was detected in overall friendship expectations (d = .17). Friendship expectations were higher for females in three of four categories: symmetrical reciprocity (e.g., loyalty, genuineness; d = .17), communion (e.g., self-disclosure, intimacy; d = .39), solidarity (e.g., mutual activities, companionship; d = .03), but agency (e.g., physical fitness, status; d = -.34) was higher in males. Overall expectations and symmetrical reciprocity showed small effect sizes. Medium effect sizes for communion favoring females and for agency favoring males support predictions of evolutionary theory.
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Journal of Social and Personal
The online version of this article can be found at:
DOI: 10.1177/0265407510386192
published online 29 December 2010Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Jeffrey A. Hall
Sex differences in friendship expectations: A meta-analysis
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International Association for Relationship Research
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Sex differences in
friendship expectations:
A meta-analysis
Jeffrey A. Hall
University of Kansas, USA
Friendship expectations are prescriptive normative behaviors and highly valued qualities
in ideal same-sex friends. This paper reports the results of five meta-analyses of sex
differences from 37 manuscripts (36 samples, N¼8825). A small difference favoring
females was detected in overall friendship expectations (d¼.17). Friendship expectations
were higher for females in three of four categories: symmetrical reciprocity (e.g., loyalty,
genuineness; d¼.17), communion (e.g., self-disclosure, intimacy; d¼.39), solidarity
(e.g., mutual activities, companionship; d¼.03), but agency (e.g., physical fitness, status;
d¼.34) was higher in males. Overall expectations and symmetrical reciprocity showed
small effect sizes. Medium effect sizes for communion favoring females and for agency
favoring males support predictions of evolutionary theory.
Evolutionary psychology, friendship expectations, ideal same-sex friends, meta-analysis,
sex difference
Friendship expectations are cognitive conceptualizations about attributes individuals
would like friends to possess (Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980; Wiseman, 1986) and
intimacy-producing behaviors individuals would like friends to enact (Fehr, 2004).
Through repeated interactions with several friends, unwritten contracts of behavioral
expectations develop (Wiseman, 1986). Friendship expectations not only play an impor-
tant role in the formation (Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980; La Gaipa, 1977), maintenance
Corresponding author:
Jeffrey A. Hall, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, Communication Studies Department, Bailey
Hall, 1440 Jayhawk Boulevard, Room 102, Lawrence, KS 66045-7574, USA
Journal of Social and
Personal Relationships
000(00) 1–25
ªThe Author(s) 2010
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DOI: 10.1177/0265407510386192
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(Oswald, Clark, & Kelly, 2004), and dissolution (Clark & Ayers, 1993) of friendships,
they represent a standard to which individuals will behaviorally conform to please others
and will use to judge their friends. Violations of friendship norms (Felmlee, 1999),
expectations (Johnson, 2005), and rules (Argyle & Henderson, 1984) can diminish the
quality of friendship and may endanger its continuance (Johnson et al., 2004).
Researchers have long been interested in sex differences in friendship (Bakan, 1966;
Duck & Wright, 1993; Wright, 1982). For such inquiries, Dindia (2006) and Wright (1988)
recommend theoretically grounded and sober interpretation of effect sizes, such as those
provided by meta-analyses (Allen, 2009). Guided by the qualitative reviews of Wright
(2006) and Hartup and Stevens (1997), this manuscript will present the results of a
meta-analysis of sex differences in overall friendship expectations, and four meta-
analyses of sex differences in theoretically derived dimensions of friendship expectations:
symmetrical reciprocity, communion, solidarity, and agency. For each dimension, hypoth-
eses will be informed by past research on friendship expectations and behaviors (e.g.,
Reis, 1998; Wright, 2006) as well as by evolutionary accounts of friendship (e.g., Geary,
Bird-Craven, Hoard, Vigil, & Numtee, 2003; Taylor et al., 2000).
Ideal expectations and sex differences
Ideal friendship expectations define the social meaning or ‘‘essence’’ of friendship
(Hartup & Stevens, 1997, p. 356), and are the standard upon which present and future
friendships are judged (Fehr, 1996). Expectations of friends are cultivated through
experiences with former and present friends, creating a cycle that modifies and rein-
forces existing expectations (Elkins & Peterson, 1993; Wiseman, 1986). Once developed
during adolescence, ideal expectations remain relatively unchanged throughout life
(Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980; Weiss & Lowenthal, 1975). These ‘‘built up expectations’
become unspoken social norms for the ideal friend – a friend that individuals may never
have but nonetheless desire and prefer (Wiseman, 1986, p. 196).
Ideal friend expectations are also relevant to evolutionary approaches to friendship.
The ability to estimate the value of particular friendship qualities or behaviors is an
important adaptation for the comprehension of social exchange and altruism (Cosmides
& Tooby, 2005; Tooby & Cosmides, 1996). Ideal friends are desirable because they
possess qualities that yield the greatest long-term benefits to the individual. Actual
friends, however, are not equally endowed with desirable attributes. Just as individuals
have different reproductive value as potential mates, they also have different association
value as friends (Kendrick, Maner, & Li, 2005; Tooby & Cosmides, 1996). The partic-
ular qualities sought in an ideal friend will differ depending upon the needs of the indi-
vidual. Biological sex may influence which qualities in ideal friends are most needed.
Specifically, sex differences in expectations are likely to have evolved in cases where
females and males differ in outcomes needed or desired from friendship associations
(MacDonald, 1996). When one type of friendship expectation offers benefits to or serves
the needs of females more than males, females should place greater value on these beha-
viors or qualities in an ideal friend.
Although sex differences in friendship expectations have not been systematically
assessed, females appear to hold higher expectations for same-sex friends than males
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(Clark & Ayers, 1993; Fuhrman, Flannagan, & Matamoros, 2009; Sapadin, 1988). As a
consequence of greater expectations, females’ same-sex friendships provide more emo-
tional and informational support (Hays, 1989), experience more self-disclosure and trust
(Jones, 1991), and engage in more support, openness, and interaction maintenance beha-
viors than males’ same-sex friendships (Oswald et al., 2004). Because expectations have
been defined in a variety of ways across studies, it is difficult to generate a prediction
derived from evolutionary theory for overall sex differences. Instead, particular cate-
gories of expectations are more likely to demonstrate sex-specific evolved preferences
due to their match to particular stress and resource-attainment processes (discussed
below). To verify the magnitude and direction of sex difference in overall expectations
found in past research, we predict:
: Females will have higher overall friendship expectations than males.
Symmetrical reciprocity: trust, loyalty, genuineness, commitment
The possible dimensions of expectations are manifold: some studies have suggested as
few as two (Zarbartany, Conley & Pepper, 2004) and others in excess of 20 dimensions
(Bigelow, 1971; La Gaipa, 1987). The majority of expectation studies have explored
relational and emotional qualities of friendships (e.g., Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980), but
others have included material benefits of friendships (e.g., wealth, business connections)
(Lusk, MacDonald, & Newman, 1998; Vigil, 2007). This manuscript will propose four
dimensions of expectations.
The first proposed dimension is symmetrical reciprocity, which includes the most
important features of friendship: loyalty, mutual regard or authenticity, trustworthiness,
and support (Hartup & Stevens, 1997; Rawlins, 2009; Sapadin, 1988). Loyalty, trust, and
support are the most prototypical behaviors in producing intimacy (Fehr, 2004), and can
distinguish a close friend from an acquaintance (Newcomb & Bagwell, 1995). Sym-
metrical reciprocity is highly valued by both sexes (Hartup & Stevens, 1997). Regardless
of activities enjoyed, friendship origination and development, and sex composition of the
dyad, these qualities are present in best friendships (Sapadin, 1988; Wright, 2006). These
qualities are both necessary and sufficient conditions for close friendship; without them a
close friendship would not exist (La Gaipa, 1987; Wright, 2006). Hartup and Stevens
(1997) argue there should not be sex differences in friendship expectations for sym-
metrical reciprocity because both males and females seek out, maintain, and find con-
siderable value in best friendships marked by trust, commitment, and genuineness.
In contrast, evolutionary accounts suggest that females should have higher expecta-
tions for reciprocal altruism (Geary et al., 2003). Although Hartup and Stevens’ (1997)
concept is not synonymous with reciprocal altruism, both share trust and honesty as
central characteristics. Geary et al. (2003) argue that because female coalitions were
more likely to be unrelated to one another throughout human history (i.e., non-kin),
females would be more likely to develop mechanisms of obtaining mutual and reciprocal
benefits from unrelated others (i.e., female friends). This would produce less tolerance
for non-reciprocity in friendships, and higher expectations of trust and loyalty from ideal
friends. On the other hand, male coalitions were more competitive and non-reciprocal,
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due to associating primarily with hierarchically differentiated male kin. Under these con-
ditions, reciprocity would be a critical component of female–female friendships, but less
so for male–male friendships (Geary et al., 2003). To test competing hypotheses, the
evolutionary prediction of sex difference will be hypothesized:
: Females will have higher friendship expectations of symmetrical reciprocity.
Communion: intimacy, self-disclosure, and empathic understanding
Communion is a traditional dimension of friendship that includes emotional availability
and self-disclosure given and received (Bakan, 1966, Wright, 1988). Intimacy, emo-
tional disclosure, and empathic understanding are conceptually related and often highly
correlated in friendship (Hussong, 2000; Laurenceau, Rivera, Schaffer, & Pietromonaco,
2004). Communality is distinct from symmetrical reciprocity, in that aspects of symme-
trical reciprocity can be achieved through emotional self-disclosure, but without trust
and loyalty, disclosure is rarely attempted (Fehr, 1996, Hartup & Stevens, 1997).
In Reis’s (1998) meta-analyses of sex-differences in friendship behaviors, women expe-
rienced more intimacy than men (d¼.66). Intimacy is also more highly valued by girls
in comparison with boys (Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980; La Gaipa, 1987). Differences in
communion do not result from differences in the definition or desirability of intimacy.
Both sexes agree on how intimacy and closeness are defined in friendship, and the value
of intimacy in friendship (Fehr, 2004; Sapadin, 1988).
Evolutionary accounts have suggested that sex differences in communion may have
resulted from evolved mechanisms of managing stress (Taylor et al., 2000). The tendency
toward a tend-and-befriend response to stress evolved in females due to asymmetric invest-
ment in offspring and a need to form and maintain protective female coalitions. The
befriending response is supported by females’ greater use of emotional support from
friends to manage stress (Tamres, Janicki, & Helgeson, 2002). Because ideal friends must
be able to meet individuals’ needs, females would desire friends capable of meeting high
communion expectations. Therefore:
: Females will have higher friendship expectations of communion than males.
Solidarity: inclusion, mutual activities, and companionship
This paper will use Hartup and Stevens’ (1997) term solidarity to refer to sharing mutual
activities and the companionship of friends. Sharing common activities is one of the first
expectations to develop in children (Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980), and throughout ado-
lescence both sexes spend ample time in the company of same-sex friends (Fehr, 1996).
Time spent together distinguishes close friends from non-friends (Newcomb & Bagwell,
1995). Although males’ friendships have been characterized as more activity focused,
recent reviews of friendship suggest no sex difference in solidarity (see Wright,
2006). Males and females both agree that being with friends for the sake of company and
mutual enjoyment is important (Duck & Wright, 1993; Fehr, 1996), and both sexes
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have similar expectations of inclusion in mutual activities (Clark & Ayers, 1993, Clark &
Bittle, 1992).
If males and females are similar in the value placed on time spent in the company of
friends or the desire to be included (Geary et al., 2003; Taylor et al., 2000), then group-
level dynamics may be a factor in the evolution of sex differences (Kendrick et al.,
2005). When certain expectations are valued more by one sex in comparison with the
other, similar expectations of solidarity reinforce sex differences through behavioral
conformation and peer socialization. Individuals who behaviorally conform to the
expectations of same-sex peers are more likely to be included and liked within friend-
ship networks (Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980). Because solidarity is valued, individuals
will attempt to possess and demonstrate the characteristics expected by their same-sex
peers. This process reinforces friendship expectations particular to each same-sex
friendship network. We offer the following question:
: Will there be sex differences in solidarity friendship expectations?
Agency: personal and financial resources, status, and reward value
Agency expectations arise when friends are regarded as objects from which benefits can
be derived (Bakan, 1966). Because friendship is typically understood in terms of trust,
disclosure, and companionship, this expectation dimension is not often reported (e.g.,
La Gaipa, 1987). However, friends are often considered desirable because of what they
have or what they offer the individual, especially in public and instrumental friendships
(Rawlins, 2009). A friendship can offer the individual assistance in achieving personal
success and providing access to resources or information (Zarbatany et al., 2004).
Agency expectations pertain to what a friend can do, has access to, and is able to
offer associates. Research in friendship and agency has typically contrasted ideal
expectations for different types of relationships (e.g., romantic partnership vs.
best friend) (Lusk et al., 1998; Sprecher & Regan, 2002). Vigil (2007) includes
intelligence, financial resources, and athletic ability in his measure of personal
capacity. Athleticism and popularity also arise in children’s (Bigelow, 1977) and
adolescents’ friendship expectations (Gonzales et al., 2004). Overall, in comparison
with females, males tend to assign greater value to agency expectations (Lusk et al.,
1998; Vigil, 2007; Zarbartany et al., 2004).
From an evolutionary perspective, there are several reasons why males tend to have
higher agency expectations. Within males’ social networks, friendships reflect a bal-
ance of cooperative and competitive behaviors (Geary & Flinn, 2002; Geary et al.,
2003). Men and boys are more likely to organize their social environments hier-
archically, wherein competition between males, once resolved, results in a stable
coalition structure (Geary et al., 2003). By asserting a place within a hierarchy, males
are assured greater access to external resources derived from cooperative male
activities (e.g., hunting, victory in sports). Because group unity and cooperation is
necessary to achieve group-level goals, the stabilizing bonds of friendship are neces-
sary. By befriending a higher status male associates are granted special access to
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influential persons and high quality resources (Geary et al., 2003; Kendrick et al.,
2005). Therefore:
: Males will have higher friendship expectations of agency than females.
Five meta-analyses will be conducted to evaluate the existence and magnitude of sex dif-
ferences. Biological arguments of difference will be examined by testing the moderating
effects of age and race/ethnicity. If sex differences are present and moderated by age,
then cultural and peer influence processes are likely operative, but if no age moderation
is found then differences remain constant over time. If sex differences are moderated by
race/ethnicity (i.e., percent of sample non-White), then there is evidence for cultural
variation in sex differences. If there is a lack of moderation, then sex differences are
similar between cultures and more likely to be biologically based. In addition to these
sample-based moderators, the publication source of the manuscript (i.e., published vs.
unpublished), year of publication, and measurement of expectations (i.e., quantitative
vs. qualitative) will be tested to rule out other explanations of variation in sex differences.
Study identification
Study identification began by searching PsychINFO,Dissertation Abstracts,andERIC
with the key term ‘‘friend*’’ with ‘‘expect*’’, ‘‘desir*’’,’’ ideal’’, or ‘‘need*’’. A subse-
quent search for ‘‘friend*’’ and ‘‘human sex differences’’ was also conducted. Quantitative
studies using methods approximating the working definition prescriptive characteristics of
ideal same-sex friends were included. Studies where participants rated the importance of
ideal friendship characteristics, and where wanted, desired, or needed qualities in friends
were identified or rated were included. Relevant studies were then used to conduct a for-
ward search using Web of Science. This process identified additional articles that cited the
articles included in the sample.
Studies were excluded if they met one of several criteria. First, studies that evaluated
how friends actually were, actually behaved, or were predicted to be or to behave, but
failed to evaluate how ideal friends ought to or should behave were excluded (e.g.,
Bukowski, Nappi, & Hoza, 1987; Lempers & Clark-Lempers, 1993; Mancini & Simon,
1984; Roy, Benenson, & Lilly, 2000). Second, the present study explored ideal expecta-
tions, not expectation violations, and Lipsey and Wilson (2001) caution against combin-
ing experimental and non-experimental studies. Therefore, studies were excluded if they
evaluated confirmations or violations of friendship expectations through experimental
methods (e.g., Felmlee, 1999; Felmlee & Muraco, 2009; Flannagan et al., 2005; Johnson,
2005). Third, studies were excluded if they rated the relative importance of qualities of
friendship in general but not for ideal friends, or friends in general but not same-sex
friends specifically (e.g., Cann, 2004; Horenczyk & Tatar, 1998; Sapadin, 1988). Fourth,
studies that evaluated same-sex friendships for only one sex (e.g., either for males or
females only) were excluded because no sex differences could be estimated. Finally,
studies were excluded when sex differences were not reported in any way that allowed
the data to be imputed, and contact with the authors or attempts to recover the data to
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compute effect sizes proved futile (Banikiotes, Neimeyer, & Lepkowsky, 1981; Burgio,
1987; Cheng, Bond, & Chan, 1995; Weiss, & Lowenthal, 1975). In the final set of rel-
evant studies, 36 unique effect sizes (i.e., 36 distinct samples) were calculated from 37
manuscripts. Three manuscripts reported two samples (i.e., Chance, 2008; Fuhrman
et al., 2009; Zarbatany et al., 2004). Five manuscripts were written using two unpub-
lished datasets (i.e., Bigelow, 1971, 1977). For the meta-analyses, the unpublished data-
sets were used.
Effect sizes
Meta-analytic procedures combine effect sizes from multiple studies treating each study
as an observation. Cohen’s (1988) dstatistic was computed for each sample, which is the
recommended effect size statistic when group comparisons of quantitative variables are
conducted (Johnson, Scott-Sheldon, Snyder, Noar, & Huedo-Medina, 2008). Positive
dvalues were reported when differences favored females and negative values when
differences favored males. Twenty-one of 36 effect sizes were calculated from sample
means and standard deviations provided in the manuscript or through contact with the
lead author. Fourteen effect sizes were calculated from sample size and tor Fstatistics,
and one effect size was calculated from Pearson’s r. In cases where pvalues were pro-
vided but tor Fstatistics were not, lower bound estimates of effect sizes were estimated
(i.e., the lowest possible effect size given the significance level and sample size). When
descriptive statistics were not provided and significant differences were not reported, a
zero effect size was assumed. These conservative approaches to detecting sex differences
mean that actual effect sizes were likely somewhat larger than those reported here
(Lipsey & Wilson, 2001).
Effect sizes and standard errors were corrected for the artifact of unreliability to
decrease the likelihood of misrepresenting sex differences (Allen, 2009). Artifact cor-
rection permits the estimation of effect sizes as they would appear under ideal research
circumstances (Lipsey & Wilson, 2001). In studies where reliability was reported, either
by Cronbach’s alpha or Cohen’s intercoder kappa, artifacts were corrected. In studies
where single item measures were used, there was no artifact correction. In studies where
reliability was not reported but a multiple item measure was used, the average reliability
of all studies reporting reliability was imputed for artifact correction (M
The present investigation sought to explore sex differences in ideal friendship
expectations overall, and sex differences in four categories of expectations. When a
single effect size was reported, the study was included only in the overall expectation
meta-analysis. When the study measured multiple types of expectations, multiple effect
sizes were calculated. For each study, when sex differences for an overall expectation
measure were not reported, an average effect size was calculated by aggregating the
effect sizes of all categorical expectations (Lipsey & Wilson, 2001). All 36 studies pro-
vided one effect size for overall friendship expectations.
Four categories of expectations were identified, categorical definitions were created,
and two independent coders identified categorical expectations (kappa ¼.97). When
expectations failed to be included in any of four categories by both coders, rather than
forcing a misfit, these effects were excluded from categorical meta-analyses. Less than
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7%of possible categorical expectation effect sizes were excluded. Finally, some studies
reported sex differences for two separate sub-constructs that belonged to a single expec-
tation category. To ensure that each study contributed only one categorical effect size to
a categorical meta-analysis, the effect sizes for two sub-constructs were averaged before
included. For example, the sex differences in empathic accuracy and self-disclosure
reported separately by Amalfitano (1980) were averaged to form a single effect size for
communion. See Table 1 for all studies, expectation categories, and effect sizes.
Five study characteristics were coded as potential moderating variables. Two moderators
were chosen because of their theoretical relevance to the study of sex difference: mean
age of sample, percent of sample non-White. One moderator explored the measurement
methods employed. Expectations measured on numeric scales were coded as quantita-
tive, and expectations measured by frequency counts of the presence or absence of
expectations in text or transcribed interviews were coded as qualitative. Publication
d Overall Expectations Symmetrical Communion Solidarity Agency
2.4 8
1.5 7
1.4 7
1.3 7
1.1 1 2
.9 38 3
.8 3 8
.7 3 8 59 9
.6 4 17
.5 9 6
.4 1117 249 58 1
.3 39 5 23557 0
.2 1235567 6 577 7
.1 1 445678 47
.0 124479 114799 0 0000 0
.0 116 277 2 225666 19
.1 5 25
.2 4 69
.3 6 6
.4 26
.6 8
k¼36 k¼21 k¼31 k¼21 k¼9
Figure 1. Stem-and-leaf plots of sex differences.
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Table 1. Summary of all studies (positive effect size values where sex differences favor women)
Non-white Published Quantative
Type Expectation Measurement
Amalfitano, 1980 13 25 56.5 N/A No Yes Overall 7 Friendship Expectances (La Gaipa, 1979) 0.41
Reciprocity Support, Genuineness, Positive Regard 0.49
Communion Self Disclosure & Empathic Understanding 0.40
Solidarity Similarity 0.05
Argyle & Henderson,
1984; Study 1
30 30 30.0 N/A Yes Yes Overall 14 Relationship Rules (Author Derived) 0.47
Bank, 1994 553 622 14.0 N/A Yes Yes Overall Closeness Norms & Assertiveness Norms
(adapted Argyle & Henderson, 1984)
Communion Closeness norms 0.14
Agency Assertiveness norms 0.26
Basu & Mukhopad-
hyay, 1986
30 30 20.0 1.00 Yes No Overall 15 Single Item expectancies
(Author derived)
Reciprocity Honest, Loyal, Genuine, Understanding,
Sacrificing, Reliable
Communion Open communication 0.16
Solidarity Similar interests 0.07
Agency Physical attractiveness 0.01
Bigelow, 1971 240 240 10.0 N/A No No Overall 21 expectancies (Author derived) 0.04
Reciprocity Reciprocity, Acceptance, Loyalty,
Genuineness, Support
Communion Intimacy Potential 0.37
Solidarity Common activities, Play, Prior
Bigelow, 1974 240 240 10.0 N/A Yes No Overall 21 expectancies (Bigelow, 1971) 0.01
Reciprocity Reciprocity, Acceptance, Loyalty,
Genuineness, Support
Communion Intimacy Potential 0.20
Solidarity Common activities, Play, Prior interaction 0.06
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Table 1. (continued)
Non-white Published Quantative
Type Expectation Measurement
Broderick & Beltz,
105 95 12.2 N/A Yes Yes Overall 10 expectations (Furman & Bierman, 1984) 0.41
Reciprocity Dispositional & Behavioral Support &
Communion Behavioral Intimacy 0.79
Solidarity Dispositional & Behavioral Association 0.00
Chance, 2008; Adult
24 25 20.1 0.65 No Yes Overall 3 Expectations (Author derived) 0.98
Communion Emotional Dependence 1.37
Solidarity Social Solidarity 0.79
Chance, 2008; Child
12 12 12.8 0.17 No Yes Overall 3 Expectations (Author derived) 1.11
Communion Emotional Dependence 1.57
Solidarity Social Solidarity 0.88
Claes, 1992 170 179 15.9 N/A Yes Yes Overall 4 Friendship Expectances (La Gaipa, 1979) 0.26
Reciprocity Acceptance & Support 0.35
Communion Empathic Understanding 0.35
Solidarity Mutual Activities 0.00
Clark & Ayers, 1993 111 131 12.6 0.27 Yes Yes Overall 4 Friendship Expectances (La Gaipa, 1979) 0.25
Reciprocity Acceptance & Support 0.26
Communion Empathic Understanding 0.45
Solidarity Mutual Activities 0.00
Clark & Bittle, 1992 101 97 10.0 0.26 Yes Yes Overall 4 Friendship Expectances (La Gaipa, 1979) 0.41
Reciprocity Acceptance & Support 0.40
Communion Empathic Understanding 0.83
Solidarity Mutual Activities 0.00
Craven, 1992 108 102 11.5 0.00 No Yes Overall Communality, Empathy, Loyalty
(Author derived)
Reciprocity Loyalty 0.02
Communion Intimacy & Empathic Understanding 0.48
Solidarity Common or shared activities 0.12
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Table 1. (continued)
Non-white Published Quantative
Type Expectation Measurement
Elkins & Peterson,
58 65 19.0 0.10 Yes Yes Overall Wright’s Acquaintance Description Form 0.93
Fehr, 2004; Study 3 36 53 21.4 N/A Yes Yes Overall Intimacy Expectancies (Author derived) 0.33
Communion Intimacy 0.33
Fuhrman et al. 2009;
Sample 1
151 248 19.8 0.60 Yes Yes Overall Emotional Closeness, Social
Companionship; Relational Positivity
(adapted Argyle & Henderson, 1984)
Communion Emotional Closeness 0.17
Solidarity Social Companionship 0.17
Fuhrman et al. 2009;
Sample 2
75 90 19.8 0.59 Yes Yes Overall Emotional Closeness, Social
Companionship; Relational Positivity
(adapted Argyle & Henderson, 1984)
Communion Emotional Closeness 0.27
Solidarity Social Companionship 0.30
Fujiwara, 2004 80 156 21.2 0.35 No Yes Overall 10 expectancies (Derived from
La Gaipa)
Reciprocity Reciprocity, Loyal, Genuine,
Honesty, Accepting, Trust, Support
Communion Warmth and Openness 0.20
Furman & Bierman,
42 42 9.0 N/A Yes No Overall 10 Expectations (Author derived) 0.00
Reciprocity Dispositional & Behavioral Support &
Gonzales et al., 2004 297 297 13.5 0.50 Yes No Overall 21 Expectancies (Bigelow, 1974) 0.00
Reciprocity Reciprocity, Genuineness, Admiration,
Communion Intimacy Potential 0.18
Solidarity Common activities, Play, Prior
Agency Physical attractiveness, Athleticism,
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Table 1. (continued)
Non-white Published Quantative
Type Expectation Measurement
Hall et al., 2009 100 97 20.7 0.12 No Yes Overall Friendship maintenance
(Oswald et al., 2004)
Reciprocity Support Maintenance 0.78
Communion Positivity & Openness 0.67
Solidarity Interaction 0.41
Hartmann, 1991 45 45 14.1 N/A No No Overall Total expectations & Intimacy, Self
Disclosure, Understanding
(Author derived)
Communion Intimacy, Self Disclosure, & Mutual
Johnson, 1997 39 33 23.0 0.22 No Yes Overall Expectations of Emotional & Instrumental
Support (Author derived)
Communion Emotional Support 0.32
Landberg, 1982 157 196 14.8 N/A No No Overall 7 Friendship Expectances
(La Gaipa, 1979)
Reciprocity Help & Support, Genuineness, Ego
Communion Intimacy & Empathic Understanding 0.35
Solidarity Similarity 0.27
Lusk et al., 1998 93 279 24.2 N/A Yes Yes Overall 6 expectations: Attractiveness,
Education, Ability, Intimacy,
Conscientiousness (Author derived)
Reciprocity Conscientiousness 0.09
Communion Intimacy & Warmth 0.75
Agency Athleticism 0.31
McDougall & Hymel,
84 90 13.3 0.12 Yes No Overall 28 Expectations (adapted
Bigelow, 1974)
Reciprocity Reciprocity, Acceptance, Loyalty,
Genuineness, Support
Communion Intimacy Potential 0.14
Solidarity Companionship, social activities 0.06
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Table 1. (continued)
Non-white Published Quantative
Type Expectation Measurement
Migliaccio, 2002 98 102 34.0 0.38 No Yes Overall 9 Expectances (Personal Attributes
Reciprocity Trust & Reliability 0.20
Communion Share thoughts, Share feelings,
Emotional Availability
Solidarity Shared activities and experiences 0.14
Ray & Cohen, 1996 92 87 12.0 0.50 Yes Yes Overall 10 Expectations (Furman &
Bierman, 1984)
Reciprocity Dispositional & Behavioral Support &
Communion Behavioral Intimacy 0.02
Solidarity Dispositional & Behavioral Association 0.36
Schneider & Tessler,
40 36 11.4 0.05 Yes No Overall 21 Expectations (Bigelow, 1974) 0.01
Communion Intimacy Potential 0.25
Agency Sportsmanship 0.46
Sprecher & Regan,
59 80 20.2 N/A Yes Yes Overall 14 Expectations (Author derived) 0.07
Communion Warmth & Expressiveness 0.61
Solidarity Similar and shared activities 0.06
Agency Social status, intelligence, wealth,
physical attractiveness
Verkuyten & Masson,
114 100 16.0 0.67 Yes No Overall Rules of exchange, intimacy,
coordination, relations (adapted
Argyle & Henderson, 1984)
Reciprocity Rules of Trust & Confidence 0.44
Communion Rules of Relations 0.00
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Table 1. (continued)
Non-white Published Quantative
Type Expectation Measurement
Vigil, 2007 88 163 18.6 N/A Yes Yes Overall 12 Single-item measures (Author derived) 0.24
Reciprocity Kindness & Cooperation 0.07
Agency Social status, intelligence, wealth,
physical attractiveness, athleticism,
Wood, 1972 215 173 12.0 N/A No Yes Overall 4 Friendship Expectances
(La Gaipa, 1979)
Reciprocity Acceptance & Support 0.01
Communion Empathic Understanding 0.15
Solidarity Mutual Activities 0.15
Zarbatany et al., 1992 28 34 10.5 N/A Yes No Overall 21 Expectations (modified from
La Gaipa)
Zarbatany et al.,
2004; Adult
95 217 19.5 N/A Yes Yes Overall 2 expectations: Agency, Communality
(Author derived)
Communion Self Disclosure, Emotional Support,
Love, Nurturance, Companionship
Agency Status, connections, independence,
competition, power
Zarbatany et al.,
2004; Child Sample
222 269 11.9 0.25 Yes Yes Overall 2 expectations: Agency, Communality
(Author derived)
Communion Self Disclosure, Emotional Support,
Love, Nurturance, Companionship
Agency Status, connections, independence,
competition, power
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source (i.e., published vs. unpublished manuscript) and year of publication were also
coded. Coding of mean sample age, percent non-White, methods used, publication
source, and year of publication by two independent coders was reliable (kappa ¼1.00).
The effect sizes were weighted by the inverse of the sampling error variance (Lipsey &
Wilson, 2001). Combined effect sizes were evaluated for heterogeneity. Effects were
considered homogenous when the variance could be attributed to sampling error alone
(i.e., Qstatistic was non-significant). When effects were considered homogenous, a fixed
effects model was presumed and no moderators were explored. When effect sizes were
heterogeneous (i.e., significant Qstatistic), moderating analyses were conducted.
Effect sizes distribution
The final sample included 8825 participants (45.8%male). Participants were on average
15.7 years of age (M
sample range
¼10 to 56.5 years). Sample race/ethnicity was reported in
19 samples, wherein 36.8%of participants were non-White. Two-thirds of the studies
were published (N¼24). Quantitative measurement methods were used in 69%of stud-
ies (N¼25). Studies were published between 1971 and 2009 (M
year of publication
A stem and leaf plot presents the distributions of effect sizes for all expectations (see
Figure 1). A single outlier was identified for overall expectations (i.e., Hartmann,
1991). Rather than exclude the data from the outlying study, the main effect for this study
was Winsorized (Lipsey & Wilson, 2001). That is, the main effect for overall expecta-
tions for this study was recoded to be equivalent to the next closest effect size.
The weighted mean effect size for overall ideal friendship expectations was d¼.170,
P(.123 < r< .217) ¼.95, k¼36, N¼8825. This demonstrates that females were
significantly more likely than males to have higher overall expectations for their ideal
friends. The effect sizes demonstrated significant heterogeneity, Q¼126.36, df ¼35,
p< .001, indicating that effect sizes varied across studies. Therefore, moderation
analyses were conducted using weighted regression procedures (Lipsey & Wilson,
2001). Sample age (ß ¼.012, Q
¼7.57, df ¼1, p< .001) was related to effect size,
wherein older samples were more likely to have larger effect sizes than younger
samples. For samples 5 years younger than the mean sample age of 15.7 years, the
mean effect size was estimated d¼.134, and for participants 5 years older than
the average age, the mean effect size was estimated d¼.250. Sample race/ethnicity
¼.150, Q
¼2.54, df ¼1, p¼ns) did not moderate sex differences in overall
expectations. The year of study (ß ¼.005, Q
¼6.03, df ¼1, p< .001) was a sig-
nificant moderator, wherein more recent studies were more likely to have larger effect
sizes. Publication source was not a significant moderator (ß ¼.10, Q
¼3.16, df ¼1, ns).
Finally, the measure of expectations did not moderate sex differences (ß ¼.077,
¼2.13, df ¼1, ns). Multiple regression was conducted using mean sample
age and year of publication as moderators of effect size, and both were unique
moderators: M
Z¼2.36, p<.05;M
sample age
Z¼3.55, p< .001.
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Symmetrical reciprocity
Symmetrical reciprocity was the first categorical effect size estimated. H
argued that in
comparison with males, females would hold higher expectations of trust, loyalty, com-
mitment, genuineness, and acceptance. The weighted mean effect size for symmetrical
reciprocity expectations was d¼.172, P(.111 < r<.232)¼.95, k¼21, N¼5,499,
indicating that females had higher expectations of symmetrical reciprocity. The effect
sizes demonstrated significant heterogeneity, Q¼50.83, df ¼20,p< .001, therefore
moderation analyses were conducted. Sample age (ß ¼.009, Q
¼3.48, df ¼1, p<.10)
and race/ethnicity (ß ¼.075, Q
¼1.90, df ¼1, ns) were not significant moderators of
sex differences in symmetric reciprocity. The year of study (ß ¼.002, Q
¼.753, df ¼1,
ns) and publication source (ß ¼-.080, Q
¼1.63, df ¼1, ns) were not significant
moderators. The method of measurement was not a significant moderator (ß ¼.078, Q
¼1.70, df ¼1, ns). Despite significant heterogeneity, moderators did not further explain
variance in sex differences in symmetrical reciprocity.
Communion expectations included intimacy, self-disclosure, empathic understanding, and
emotional support. H
predicted that females would expect more communion from ideal
friends than males. The weighted mean effect size for communion expectations was signif-
icant, d¼.388, P(.339 < r< .437) ¼.95, k¼31, N¼8245, indicating females had higher
expectations of communion. The effect sizes demonstrated significant heterogeneity, Q¼
170.39, df ¼31, p< .001, therefore moderation analyses were conducted. Mean sample age
¼.004, Q
¼.73, df ¼1, ns) and race/ethnicity (ß ¼.312, Q
¼3.55, df ¼1, ns)were
not significant moderators of sex differences in communion. The year of study was a signif-
icant moderator of communion (ß ¼.007, Q
¼10.25, df ¼1, p< .001), as was the method
of measurement (ß ¼.253, Q
¼18.77, df ¼1, p< .001). These moderations demonstrated
that more recent studies and those collected by quantitative methods reported larger
differences in communion. Finally, publication source (ß ¼.011, Q
df ¼1, ns) was not a moderator of communion. Multiple regression analysis indicated
that year of study and method of data collection were unique moderators of effect sizes:
Z¼5.23, p< .001; method of collection Z¼8.41, p< .001.
Solidarity expectations were defined as the inclusion of friends in shared activities, time
spent together, and similarity. RQ
explored the existence of sex differences in soli-
darity. The weighted mean effect size for solidarity expectations was not significant
because it included zero in the confidence interval, d¼.033, P(.029 < r< .095) ¼.95,
k¼21, N¼5118. Furthermore, the 95%confidence interval indicated a range of dif-
ference that could at most be considered trivial. In response to RQ
, females and males
were equally likely to expect solidarity from ideal friends. The effect sizes did not
demonstrate significant heterogeneity, Q¼30.66, df ¼20, ns. Therefore, the effects
were considered homogeneous.
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Agency measured the degree to which wealth, status, physical attractiveness and fitness,
and intelligence and education were expected from ideal friends. H
predicted that males
would expect more agency than females. The weighted average effect size for agency
expectations was significant, d¼.337, P(.420 < r<.255) ¼.95, k¼9, N¼3470,
indicating that males held higher expectations of agency. Effect sizes did not demon-
strate significant heterogeneity, Q¼13.09, df ¼8, ns. Therefore, effects were consid-
ered homogeneous.
Publication bias
To determine whether unpublished studies biased the meta-analyses, a fail-safe Nwas
calculated for each significant mean effect size using Orwin’s (1983) formula. The
criterion effect size was set at |.07|. This is the largest mean effect size including zero
in the 95%confidence interval assuming a standard error equivalent to the largest stan-
dard error found in the present study’s meta-analyses. The smallest fail-safe Nwas for
symmetrical reciprocity (k¼30). That is, 30 unpublished studies with no sex difference
would have to exist to reduce the mean effect size of symmetrical reciprocity to include a
zero in the 95%confidence interval. To reduce the remaining mean effect sizes to non-
significance, the fail-safe Nvalues were 140 for communion, 51 for overall expectations,
and 34 for agency. Given that the lowest fail-safe Nis nearly equivalent to the total num-
ber of studies analyzed in this manuscript, it is unlikely that a significant publication bias
exists. Publication bias is also unlikely because one-third of studies sampled were
unpublished (Lipsey & Wilson, 2001).
The meta-analyses demonstrated that expectations of ideal same-sex friends were
slightly greater for females in comparison with males for overall expectations, and
slightly greater for females for the most important expectation in friendship, namely
symmetrical reciprocity. Meta-analyses demonstrated medium-sized sex differences in
communion and agency. The theoretical relevance of these results must be explored
in relation to the effect sizes and moderators to prevent artificially amplifying differ-
ences between the sexes (Dindia, 2006; Wright, 1988).
Overall friendship expectations (d¼.170) and symmetrical reciprocity (d¼.172),
the category including the most central components of friendship, showed small
differences favoring females. The effect size for overall expectations included both
communion and agency, which demonstrated medium sex differences in opposite
directions. This may have offset any sex differences detected in overall expectations.
These differences suggest that males and females are more likely to differ in particular
types of expectations, rather than in overall expectations.
The results relating to symmetrical reciprocity showed some support for evolutionary
accounts of sex differences (Taylor et al., 2000), but provided more support for Hartup
and Stevens’ (1997) argument that males and females may differ in pathways toward
friendship, but similarly value deep structures of friendship. Since less than 3%of the
Hall 17
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variance in symmetrical reciprocity was explained by sex, differences in expectations are
unlikely to have resulted from evolved mechanisms. This supports Geary and Flinn’s
(2002) critique of Taylor et al. Taylor et al. argue that the mother–child pair bond resulted
in a comforting and befriending adaptation for managing stress. In rebuttal, Geary and
Flinn note that the mother–child relationship is simply not symmetrical, so it is incon-
sistent with the tend-and-befriend hypothesis that females would develop greater expec-
tations for friends in reciprocal altruism. The present study supports Geary and Flinn, who
differentiate adaptive properties of friendship shared by both males and females (e.g.,
symmetrical reciprocity) from those likely to produce sex differences (e.g., communion).
The medium-sized sex difference in communion (d¼.388) is consistent with a past
meta-analysis of females’ greater friendship behavioral intimacy (Reis, 1998) and pro-
vides support for the tend-and-befriend hypothesis (Taylor et al., 2000). It is important
to note that neither age nor race/ethnicity moderated this difference. This suggests that
the sex difference in self-disclosure and intimacy begins at a young age (Bigelow, 1977),
and does not change as children mature. This, in addition to the lack of moderation of
race/ethnicity, offers some support for the argument that these differences are less likely
to be a result of peer modeling or learning, and they may be biologically based. Because
of the strong relationship between what is expected from ideal friends and how actual
friends behave (Hall, Larson, & Watts, 2009), sex differences in communion provide
an explanation for greater behavioral intimacy in female friendships (Reis, 1998). If bio-
logical tendencies increase females’ expectations of intimacy, emotional support, and
empathic understanding from friends, then females may be more likely to choose and
maintain friendships with females who can meet their higher expectations.
The lack of sex differences in solidarity provides meta-analytic support for Wright’s
(2006) contention of similarity in activity orientation for all friendships. This lack of sex
difference is important to both evolutionary and developmental accounts of the role of
same-sex socialization in friendship. Because both sexes place a similar value on inclu-
sion and acceptance by same-sex friends, solidarity expectations may help to produce
and reinforce sex-specific friendship expectations. This meta-analysis provides evidence
of a proximal mechanism for both evolved and developmental sex differences. To con-
firm the socializing influence of solidarity, future research may explore whether greater
inclusion in opposite-sex friendship networks produces behaviors that mimic the expec-
tations of the opposite sex. For example, males accepted in female-dominated friendship
networks may be more likely to value communion over time, and females included in
male-dominated friendship networks may be more likely to value agency over time.
The meta-analysis of the agency expectations offers support for evolutionary
accounts of sex difference, wherein males are more likely than females to seek associ-
ation with high-resource same-sex friends. Because this is the first study to explore
sex differences in agency and the sample of studies was relatively small (i.e., k¼9), the
conclusions of this analysis should be treated with caution. Although it was consistent
with the theoretical account of agency in friendship to include physical attractiveness,
financial resources, physical fitness, and social connections into a single category of
expectations, future research may parcel these into distinct dimensions. Additionally,
agency expectations are consistently among the least important ideal characteristics
(Sprecher & Regan, 2002; Vigil, 2007), and were not identified as an ideal friend
18 Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 000(00)
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characteristic in early research (e.g., Bigelow, 1977). However, the inclusion of this con-
cept in future research is recommended because this dimension may be particularly rel-
evant in research on male–male and cross-sex friendships (Bleske & Buss, 2000).
Moderation analyses
The moderation analyses revealed few moderators of sex differences in friendship
expectations. Only three moderators explained heterogeneity in two of the five
meta-analyses: sample age for overall expectations, year of publication for overall
expectations and communion, and method of data collection for communion. The first
moderator suggests that older samples were more likely than younger samples to demon-
strate larger sex differences in overall expectations. There are several interpretations of
this moderation: expectations increase for females as they age, but do not for males,
expectations decrease for males, but remain constant for females, or expectations
increase or decrease for both sexes over time but do so at different rates. There is evi-
dence that expectations decline for both sexes, particularly as discrepancies between
expectations and friendship behaviors increase (Weiss & Lowenthal, 1975). For males,
employment and gender-role constraints particularly reduce expectations (Fischer &
Oliker, 1983). The present study did not explore the relationship between expectations
and age, only the relationship between sex differences and mean age of sample.
Therefore, a firm conclusion regarding the direction of difference cannot be drawn from
these data. Additionally, a large proportion of sampled studies were of children and ado-
lescents, and only four studies had samples with mean ages over 23 years. Furthermore,
the moderating effect of the age of sample was not detected for any of four categories of
expectations. This suggests moderation itself should be treated with caution. Future
study of friendship expectations in adult and older adult populations and longitudinal
projects demonstrating change in expectations are necessary to provide better evidence
regarding the moderating effect of age on sex differences in overall expectations.
The second moderation demonstrates that year of study moderated sex differences in
overall expectations and communion, wherein more recent studies showed greater sex
differences. Different sample cohorts may demonstrate varying sex differences in
expectations. Perhaps males and females studied in the 1970s were more similar in
overall and communion expectations than males and females sampled in 2009. Although
the data support an increase in sex differences, they do not describe the nature of that
change (i.e., females have increased expectations, males have decreased expectations,
both males and females have increased or decreased but at different rates). Although
sample cohort could explain this moderation, further longitudinal or archival research is
required to identify where that change exists. Additionally, the change in type of research
question may have influenced sex differences. Earlier research focused on child
development (e.g., Bigelow, 1971) and recent research on resource acquisition (e.g.,
Vigil, 2007). The year of publication effect was independent of moderation of mean
sample age for overall expectations. This reduces the likelihood that differences in the
age of samples explain the year of publication moderation. Finally, the significant
measurement moderation suggests that quantitative studies are more likely to report sex
differences in communion than qualitative studies. Future research is required to explain
Hall 19
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why quantitative measures show greater differences in communion in comparison with
interviews or textual analyses.
Core and peripheral expectations
Males and females share similar expectations about the most critical components of
friendship –trust, commitment, loyalty, and genuineness. Although females expect
slightly more symmetrical reciprocity, the difference is small. It is consistent with this
sex similarity that most studies demonstrate that violations of these core expectations are
very detrimental to all friendships (Argyle & Henderson, 1984; La Gaipa, 1987). The
differences in communion suggest that females expect more of their friends for a central
element of friendship (Fehr, 2004; Wright, 2006). As a consequence, it may be easier for
males than females to meet same-sex friends’ expectations of self-disclosure and inti-
macy. This would suggest that violations of communion would be more damaging to
females’ friendships than males’ – a conclusion supported in experimental studies by
Fehr (2004) and Johnson (2005). Interpreted in combination with symmetrical recipro-
city, it appears that the most important aspects of friendship are expected more in
females’ than males’ same-sex friendships. Therefore, female friendships may require
more effort to meet expectations of symmetrical reciprocity and communion, and may
be more at risk of expectation violation (Clark & Ayers, 1993; Hall et al., 2009). By com-
parison, violations of agency would be unlikely to damage males’ friendships. Since
agency is a peripheral component to friendship (i.e., has low importance), violations
of relatively unimportant expectations may not be detrimental. Wealth, attractiveness,
and physical fitness may be qualities that are nice to have in friendships, but not neces-
sary to have. However, greater expectations of agency in males’ friendships suggest that
it may be difficult for males to meet friends’ expectations in resource acquisition, or in
intrinsic characteristics, such as physical fitness or intelligence. Males may also be more
willing than females to maintain a friendship with a high agency friend who otherwise
does not provide the more core components of friendship (e.g., loyalty, mutual regard).
Males may also be more likely than females to exclude male peers who are resource defi-
cient (e.g., poor, not athletic) from friendship networks. Future work is needed on the
consequences of males’ higher agency expectations.
Limitations and directions for future research
The first limitation is that the meta-analyses sample was relatively young. This reduces
power to detect variation in sex differences past early adulthood. Similarly, this study
had only a limited ability to explore cross-cultural variation in sex differences in expec-
tations, given that only 24%of samples were from countries other than the US and only
53%of studies reported sample race/ethnicity. However, sex differences reported here
are very similar to those reported in an excluded study from China (cf. Cheng et al.,
1995). Although there are cross-culture differences in friendship expectations (e.g.,
Argyle & Henderson, 1984; Bank, 1994; Gonzalez et al., 2004), the results of the present
investigation suggest that the magnitude of sex differences does not vary by race/ethnicity.
Nonetheless, future research conducted in resource-scarce environments could better
20 Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 000(00)
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account for cultural variation in friendship expectations (Kendrick et al., 2005), wherein
excessive investment in non-kin relationships holds greater risks for the survival of off-
spring due to the norms of reciprocity (Benenson & Alavi, 2004). Furthermore, in societies
where patronage and nepotism are common mechanisms for securing employment, the
value of well-connected and socially prominent friends may greatly increase agency
expectations for both sexes. As a final limitation, the present study did not explore
cross-sex friendship expectations. The different desires of males and females for sexual
access in friendship may complicate cross-sex friendships (Halatsis & Chrisakis, 2009;
Weger & Emmett, 2009), but predictable differences in cross-sex expectations may guide
future work (Bleske & Buss, 2000; Fuhrman et al., 2009).
Several types of expectations are also missing from the present study. Fun, a sense of
humor, and having a good personality are important qualities in friends, but are under-
theorized in friendship research (Fehr, 1996). As a consequence, these types of expecta-
tions were well represented in the 7%of expectations excluded from categorical meta-
analyses. Future research should verify the existence of the four dimensions of friendship
expectations and determine whether the excluded expectations merit inclusion.
The moderation of age for overall expectations and the similar value of solidarity
suggest that importance of maturation and peer influence should not be discounted in
future research. Due to the reciprocal influence of expectation and experience (Hall
et al., 2009; Wiseman, 1986), initial biological tendencies in friendship expectations may
produce greater differences in behavioral communion and agency through same-sex
socialization. Future work should document how expectations inform behavior, how
friendship selection and rejection reify same-sex social norms, and whether there are
cohort effects in sex differences in expectations.
An earlier version of this manuscript was presented at the 2009 International Association of Rela-
tionship Research conference in Lawrence, KS. My thanks to the editor and the reviewers for care-
ful and useful feedback throughout the revision of this manuscript, and to Diane Felmlee and Noel
Card for help in manuscript preparation, to Viki Zelenak and Kiley Larson for coding assistance,
and to Susan Sprecher, Dorothy Flannagan, and Patti McDougall for sharing data.
Conflict of interest statement
The author(s) declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of
this article.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or
not-for-profit sectors.
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... The time spent cultivating friendships fosters higher quality friendships (Duck et al., 1991), but it also necessarily limits the time that can be invested in pursuing other goals. To minimize potential tradeoffs, some researchers have proposed that individuals use friendship expectations (e.g., friendship schemas) to aid in the process of developing friendships with high-quality partners (Felmlee et al., 2012;Hall, 2011Hall, , 2012; see also Krems & Conroy-Bean, 2020). ...
... For example, women's friendships are generally described as being less robust to turbulence (Benenson, 2014;Benenson et al., 2009) but more emotionally close (Benenson et al., 1997;David-Barrett et al., 2015;Kon & Losenkov, 1978;Wright, 1982) compared to men's friendships, though this sex difference is believed to decrease with age (Fox et al., 1985). Researchers have also suggested that such individual differences lead to sex differences in the traits men and women prioritize in friends (Hall, 2011;Ein-Dor et al., 2015;Pham et al., 2014;Vigil, 2007;Williams et al., 2022), the rules we want our friends to follow (Felmlee et al., 2012;Hall, 2011), and the importance of friends across the lifespan (Blieszner et al., 2019;Felmlee & Muraco, 2009;Miche et al., 2013). ...
... For example, women's friendships are generally described as being less robust to turbulence (Benenson, 2014;Benenson et al., 2009) but more emotionally close (Benenson et al., 1997;David-Barrett et al., 2015;Kon & Losenkov, 1978;Wright, 1982) compared to men's friendships, though this sex difference is believed to decrease with age (Fox et al., 1985). Researchers have also suggested that such individual differences lead to sex differences in the traits men and women prioritize in friends (Hall, 2011;Ein-Dor et al., 2015;Pham et al., 2014;Vigil, 2007;Williams et al., 2022), the rules we want our friends to follow (Felmlee et al., 2012;Hall, 2011), and the importance of friends across the lifespan (Blieszner et al., 2019;Felmlee & Muraco, 2009;Miche et al., 2013). ...
Friendships are valuable relationships that can bestow many benefits. How can humans ensure they receive the maximum benefits with minimal potential costs? One possible solution is to have preferences for traits, expectations, and rules in friendship. This could, for example, help people pursue beneficial friendships and jettison costly friendships. Previous research robustly documented that such preferences for traits, expectations, and rules exist, though they are often combined, and indicates that they may be sex-specific. Across two studies (N = 853), our factor analyses documented that preferences for desired traits in friendship are organized into two broad categories with women rating intrinsic traits as more important in their friendship come pared to men’s ratings. Similarly, factor analyses showed that preferences for rules in friendship are organized into four broad categories with women rating all rule categories as more important in their friendships compared to men’s ratings.
... Pored toga, prijateljice ulažu mnogo više napora u održavanje bliskih i intimnih veza nego što to čine muški prijatelji. S druge strane, adolescenti provode više vremena u zajedničkim aktivnostima koje su pune suparništva i kompeticije (Clark i Ayers, 1993, Hall, 2011, Mjaavatn, Frostad i Pijl, 2016. Njihove interakcije su površnije i manje zahtjevne. ...
... Ovi podaci ukazuju na značajnu razliku u doživljaju prijateljstva između adolescentica i adolescenata što potvrđuje našu prvu hipotezu. Dobiveni rezultati sukladni su i rezultatima drugih istraživanja (Clark i Ayers, 1993, Hall, 2011, Mjaavatn, Frostad i Pijl, 2016. ...
... Studies have also consistently found that female friendships are more intimate and emotionally involved than male friendships affecting friendship quality (Booth,1972;Crawford, 1977;Hays, 1985;Aukett et al., 1988 andHall, 2010) and that women's friendships are richer and have therapeutic value, as compared to those of men (Elkins & Peterson, 1993). Some studies show contrasting findingswith results finding that male friendship quality is stronger than female friendship quality (Watson, 2012). ...
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This research project was undertaken for the degree - 'Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Sociology, English' under the supervision of Dr Indumathy Jayaprakash, Department of Psychology.
... No significant difference was found between trust and decisional forgiveness with adolescent's gender. The findings of the current study coincide with the evidence provided by Hall (2011) which states that females' friendships tend to be higher in solidarity, reciprocity, overall friendship expectations than males. This result, on the other hand, contradicts with the study done by Neff and Pommier (2013) which suggested that women are more forgiving as compared to men. ...
Objective: A lot of research has been conducted on betrayal among married couples, but literature regarding betrayal in context to same-gender adolescent friendship is scarce. This study was designed to assess whether betrayal, trust and quality of friendship predict forgiveness. The study further aimed to find out the impact of age, gender, and education on adolescents’ forgiveness. Method: A cross-sectional survey was administered on 400 adolescents enrolled in educational institutions of Pakistan. Results: Betrayal was found to negatively predict emotional forgiveness (β= -.152, p<0.01), but it didn’t predict decisional forgiveness (β= -.071, p>0.01). Trust (β=.180, p<0.01) and quality of friendship (β=.202 p<0.01) were found to positively predict both emotional (β=.179, p=0.01) and decisional forgiveness (β=.344, p<0.01). Moreover, age and educational level predicted betrayal, emotional and decisional forgiveness; whereas, gender was found to predict only betrayal and emotional forgiveness. Conclusion: Betrayal from close friends is getting prevalent these days, shattering the individual's trust as well as affecting the quality of relationship and forgiveness, thus needs serious consideration.
... Finally, the sixth function of adult friendship is intimacy, which refers to self-disclosure procedures (e.g., the free and honest expression of personal thoughts and feelings; Fehr and Harasymchuk, 2018). It is necessary for both friends to reciprocally reveal "sensitive" information and react positively to the information that their partner discloses to them; in this way, feelings of trust can be developed and consolidated (Hall, 2011). ...
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This study aimed to systematically review research findings regarding the relationship between adult friendship and wellbeing. A multidimensional scope for wellbeing and its components with the use of the PERMA theory was adopted. A total of 38 research articles published between 2000 and 2019 were reviewed. In general, adult friendship was found to predict or at least be positively correlated with wellbeing and its components. In particular, the results showed that friendship quality and socializing with friends predict wellbeing levels. In addition, number of friends, their reactions to their friend’s attempts of capitalizing positive events, support of friend’s autonomy, and efforts to maintain friendship are positively correlated with wellbeing. Efforts to maintain the friendship, friendship quality, personal sense of uniqueness, perceived mattering, satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and subjective vitality mediated this relationship. However, research findings highlighted several gaps and limitations of the existing literature on the relationship between adult friendship and wellbeing components. For example, for particular wellbeing components, findings were non-existent, sparse, contradictory, fragmentary, or for specific populations only. Implications of this review for planning and implementing positive friendship interventions in several contexts, such as school, work, counseling, and society, are discussed.
... This has been supported by a number of studies. For example, Hall (2011) stated that mutual expectations, including an accompanying sense of satisfaction, are important factors in developing a friendship. These expectations also play a significant role in their university life, as they have a significant influence on the relationship of SWA with their fellow students. ...
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There are currently only a small number of students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) attending university. However, this is now increasing on an annual basis. The characteristics of autism can result in such students experiencing social, communication and behavioral issues, indicating a need to establish appropriate support as soon as they enter university. As this process of adjustment also has an impact on their peers, it is beneficial to establish the opinions of other students while planning support for university students with ASD (SWA). This study therefore examines the expectations, concerns and suggestions regarding SWA. The research was carried out in the Faculty of Education at a state university. This study took place over a period of two weeks and examined all teacher candidates following all grades of all departments in the faculty who were actively attending classes. A number of teacher candidates (N: 1015) volunteered to participate in the research, which was undertaken using the screening pattern. This included data being collected by a questionnaire, followed by a thematic analysis. The findings identified various expectations, concerns and suggestions regarding SWA, along with the impact of interdependent culture.
... The assumed centrality of male bonding has overemphasized women's isolation from their kin; competition with other women for mating opportunities, allocare and resources; and men's primacy to band together, and has led some scientists to theorize about biological sex differences in male and female predispositions to cooperate [42,46,55,56]. Further supporting this perspective, some experimental psychology studies have emphasized gender differences in the propensity to cooperate, suggesting that men's and boys' same-sex relationships are more cooperative and that they tend to cooperate in larger groups [43,45,53,[55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66]. However, the majority of these experiments were conducted in western, industrialized populations. ...
A holistic, evolutionary framework about human cooperation must incorporate information about women's cooperative behaviour. Yet, most empirical research on human cooperation has centered on men's behaviour or been derived from experimental studies conducted in western, industrialized populations. These bodies of data are unlikely to accurately represent human behavioural diversity. To address this gap and provide a more balanced view of human cooperation, this issue presents substantial new data and multi-disciplinary perspectives to document the complexity of women's cooperative behaviour. Research in this issue 1) challenges narratives about universal gender differences in cooperation, 2) reconsiders patrilocality and access to kin as constraints on women's cooperation, 3) reviews evidence for a connection between social support and women's health and 4) examines the phylogenetic roots of female cooperation. Here, we discuss the steps taken in this issue toward a more complete and evidence-based understanding of the role that cooperation plays in women's and girls' lives and in building human sociality. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Cooperation among women: evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives’.
... Other perspectives emphasize same-sex peer socialization as a basis for friendship values, with increased same-sex interactions leading to more sex-typed behaviours [35]. Starting in early childhood and continuing through development and adulthood, girls tend to be higher in self-disclosure and intimacy relative to boys and emphasize emotional sharing and talking over shared activities [35,[39][40][41][42]. Both self-disclosure and emotional support are perceived as important for promoting intimacy among women [39,43], and women's friendships are primarily maintained through support provisioning and being open with one another [44]. ...
The relationship between social support and well-being is well established in social psychology, with evidence suggesting that these benefits are especially prominent among women. When faced with an environmental stressor, women are more likely to adopt a tend-and-befriend strategy rather than fight-or-flight. Furthermore, female friendships tend to be higher in self-disclosure and more frequently relied on for social support, which is associated with physical and psychological benefits. Women are also more effective at providing social support, further augmenting those benefits. We begin with an overview of the characteristics of women's social ties and how they can be especially useful in times of stress. We then transition to the benefits of female social networks even in the absence of negative events and incorporate research from health and social psychology to consider the positive implications of having strong social bonds and the negative implications of lacking such bonds. Additionally, we consider cross-cultural differences in tendencies to seek out social support and its subsequent benefits, as well as the need for more research with culturally diverse samples. It remains unclear the extent to which patterns of social support benefits for women vary cross-culturally. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Cooperation among women: evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives’.
هدف هذا البحث إلى التعرف على مستوى الصداقة لدى طلبة جامعة تعز، وكذلك التعرف على الفروق بين متوسطات درجات أفراد العينة على مقياس الصداقة وفقًا للمتغيرات التالية: أ- النوع (ذكر– أنثى)، ب- نوع الكلية (علمية– إنسانية) ت- مكان السكن (الريف– المدينة). تكونت عينة البحث من (520) طالبًا وطالبة من مختلف الكليات والمستويات في جامعة تعز، بواقع (173) ذكور، و(347) إناث، تم اختيارهم بطريقة عشوائية، ولتحقيق أهداف البحث قام الباحث ببناء مقياس الصداقة، واستخرجت الخصائص السيكومترية للمقياس من صدق وثبات ووجد أنه يتمتع بدرجة عالية من الصدق والثبات. وأسفر البحث عن النتائج الآتية: مستوى الصداقة لدى طلبة جامعة تعز مرتفع. لا توجد فروق دالة إحصائيًا في مستوى الصداقة لدى طلبة جامعة تعز وفقًا لمتغير النوع (ذكور، إناث). لا توجد فروق دالة إحصائيًا في مستوى الصداقة لدى طلبة جامعة تعز وفقًا لمتغير نوع الكلية (علمية، إنسانية). لا توجد فروق دالة إحصائيًا في مستوى الصداقة لدى طلبة جامعة تعز وفقًا لمتغير مكان السكن (الإقامة الدائمة) (الريف – المدينة).
For decades, researchers have known that professional networks that are characterized by brokerage—connections to otherwise unconnected subnetworks within the organization—provide important advantages. People who occupy the powerful brokerage role reap significant career rewards, including faster rates of promotion, larger bonuses, more involvement in innovation, and greater likelihood of being identified as top talent (Halevy et al., 2019). However, recent evidence has emerged to suggest that women are less likely than men to occupy the brokerage position and, even when they do occupy it, are less likely to leverage it for career success (Fang et al., 2020). Several mechanisms have been advanced to explain these findings, including structural constraints caused by systemic discrimination and the effect of gender role expectations. This chapter reviews the research on gender and brokerage, and posits that a gendered socio-emotional experience of the brokerage role may also contribute to systematic disadvantage for women. Organizations can apply these ideas to further the career success of women through training and restructuring activities that reframe the brokerage experience, concrete tools for strategic network development, and and by reducing barriers to effective network development.
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Social psychological findings and methods can provide valuable tools for evolutionary theorists. Social psychologists have developed useful methods for understanding ongoing motivational and cognitive processes, as well as useful ways of thinking about and studying organism environment interactions. Social and cognitive psychologists have focused predominantly on the flaws and limitations of human information processing. Evolutionary psychologists presume that many errors and biases ultimately manifest underlying decision rules that, on average, were adaptive throughout much of human evolutionary history. This chapter discusses six key domains of social life, including coalition formation, status, self-protection, mate choice, mate retention, and parental care. A truly comprehensive model of behavior must include insights from evolutionary psychology along with the insights of dynamical systems theory. An integration of evolutionary and dynamic models may be key to understanding the emergence of cultural norms.
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Congratulations to William K. Rawlins, winner of the David R. Maines Narrative Research Award for The Compass of Friendship to be presented at NCA 2009 during the Ethnography Division Business Meeting“The book is a valuable addition to the literature on friendship. Faculty who teach relationship development will find useful material for themselves and their students. Relationship researchers will find dozens of possible studies in these pages. Finally, any thoughtful person interested in relationship quality could profit from reading this interesting treatment of one of life's most valuable attributes—our friends.” - Phil Backlund, University of DenverExploring how friends use dialogue and storytelling to construct identities, deal with differences, make choices, and build inclusive communities, The Compass of Friendship examines communication dialectically across private, personal friendships as well as public, political friendships. Author William K. Rawlins uses compelling examples and cases from literature, films, dialogue and storytelling between actual friends, student discussions of cross-sex friendships, and interviews with interracial friends. Throughout the book, he invites readers to consider such questions as: What are the possibilities for enduring, close friendships between men and women? How far can friendship's practices extend into public life to facilitate social justice? What are the predicaments and promises of friendships that bridge racial boundaries? How useful and realistic are the ideals and activities of friendship for serving the well-lived lives of individuals, groups, and larger collectives?Key FeaturesIncorporates undergraduate students' debates about cross-sex friendships. Discussions draw on popular culture and lived experiences to re-examine gendered identities, sexual orientations, and narratives of romance and the well-lived lifeInvestigates the possibilities of cross-race friendships between blacks and whites in light of personal, sociocultural, and historical issues. Using short stories, autobiographies, and interviews with a male and a female pair of friends, he book probes the capacities of friendship to address our similarities and differences in enriching waysDevelops an original theoretical synthesis of work concerning dialogue and narrative. A chapter featuring an afternoon conversation between two longtime friends illustrates storytelling and dialogue as vitally interwoven communicative activities that shape friends' identitiesExplores friendship's ethical and political potentials. Classic and contemporary views clarify friendship's ethical guidance in our lives, as Rawlins demonstrates how learning about others in a spirit of equal respect can involve us in political participationCelebrates hopeful private and public communication by friends. The book provides students a useful model they can use in evaluating the ethical qualities of their relationships/friendships and helps them to think differently about their possibilities for participating meaningfully in politicsThe Compass of Friendship is appropriate for use in courses in Advanced Interpersonal Communication, Friendship Communication, Communication in Interpersonal Relationships, Relational Communication, Social and Personal Relationships, Dialogue and Communication, Social Identities and Communication Ethics.
Participants evaluate several vignettes that describe a friend's behaviors, where friend's gender is the experimental manipulation. Results show that women are significantly more approving than men of a friend's crying or hugging, and less approving of shoving. Men are less disapproving of a male friend who cancels plans with them for a date, or a male friend who kisses someone who is not his current partner, than are women of a friend of either gender in these situations. Men also use approximately half as many normative words when evaluating a male friend as when evaluating a female friend, or as women use when evaluating a friend of either gender. Nevertheless, gender has less effect on evaluations of behavioral appropriateness than do the type of friendship behavior evaluated and the context. Finally, no support is found for the argument that cross-gender friendships are scriptless.