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Toward an expanded orientation to the comparative study of women's and men's same-sex friends

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... It is not surprising that best friends should be more capable of meeting expectations than other types of friends because friendship standards are created with an ideal friend in mind, so it follows that best friends would more closely approximate ideal standards. In addition, as friendships develop, they become more idiosyncratic and capable of conforming to the particular standards of the dyad (Hays, 1989;Wright, 2006). Note that friend type did not moderate the relationship between ideal maintenance standards and expectation fulfillment, nor did it moderate the expectation fulfillment and satisfaction relationship. ...
... This study speaks to the debate about males' and females' friendship cultures (Wood & Inman, 1993). Both sexes interact with their friends in similar ways (Wright, 2006), share similar conceptualizations of friendship intimacy (Fehr, 2004a), and place a high value on friendship (Parker & de Vries, 1993). Yet, this study suggests they may still develop different patterns of achieving satisfaction via expectation fulfillment. ...
... Fletcher and Simpson (2001) argue that ideal standards develop from past experiences and supply and demand. Perhaps, females' high ideal standards result from selecting high-quality friends during adolescent development (La Gaipa, 1987) and experiencing greater intimacy and relational maintenance as they mature (Reis, 1998;Wright, 2006). As Allen and Valde (2006) point out, a preponderance of one sex at the high end of a distribution may explain sex-specific behaviors. ...
Article
The ideal standards model predicts linear relationship among friendship standards, expectation fulfillment, and relationship satisfaction. Using a diary method, 197 participants reported on expectation fulfillment in interactions with one best, one close, and one casual friend (N = 591) over five days (2,388 interactions). Using multilevel modeling, our study found that hypothesized relationships were moderated by participant sex. For males, ideal standards had a curvilinear relationship with expectation fulfillment, where higher standards were associated with less fulfillment, but both expectation fulfillment and standards directly predicted satisfaction. For females, ideal standards linearly predicted expectation fulfillment, but an interaction between standards and fulfillment predicted satisfaction. Implications for the relationship between ideal standards and sex on friendship maintenance and satisfaction are discussed.
... The agency element of friendship provides individuation and power needs according to Canadian research by Zarbatany et al. (2004). The different emphasis on agency and communion is relative, as both genders value communion in friendships (Zarbatany et al. 2004; Wright 2006, in the USA). However, it is possible that this difference in the balance between communion and agency will produce gender differences in how gossip functions in friendships. ...
... There are several reasons why gender differences in friendship have been observed and these underlying processes may provide some insight into possible predictions with gender differences in friendship and gossip. According to Wright (2006), female friendships are more intimate because women are more likely to be involved in more communal activities such as " …a baby shower.. " versus the more agentic, instrumental activities such as " …shingling a roof… " (p. 47). ...
... Another aspect of friendship is that women are more likely to have broader more, holistic friendships rather than more circumscribed friendships. For example, having specific work friends, sports friends, etc. (Wright 2006). Another set of factors that tend to produce more agentic friendships in males are dispositional factors such as " …emotional restraint, masculine identity and homophobia… " (Bank and Hansford 2000, p. 64). ...
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Gossip has been related to friendship as it can increase the bond between people and sense of belonging to a group. However, the role of gender in the relationship between gossip and friendship has not been examined in the literature. So, the present study examined gender differences in the relationship between friendship quality and gossip tendency with a sample of 167 female and 69 male Western Canadian undergraduate University students using the Friendship questionnaire and the Tendency to Gossip questionnaire. Given gender differences in friendship, with males being more agentic and females more communal, the relationship between gossip and friendship was predicted to be stronger in the males compared to the females. Friendship quality was positively correlated with gossip tendency in the males, but this effect was not present with the females. The information gossip scale was strongly associated with male friendship quality. This finding may be related to the greater emphasis on status with males, and that possession of knowledge and control of information is a method of attaining status. Physical appearance gossip was found to be more prevalent in females, but not related to friendship quality. This type of gossip may be a more of a competitive threat to the relationship in females. Achievement related gossip was also related to male friendship quality, which reflects the greater emphasis on individuation in male friendships.
... Expectations of support from friends are also highly valued by older adults (Weiss & Lowenthal, 1975), and play an important role in successful aging (Mancini & Simon, 1984). Given their centrality throughout life and to all stages of friendship, ideal standards of friendship can be understood to represent the structure of mutual dependence and reciprocity that constitutes friendship itself (Hartup & Stevens, 1997;Wright, 2006). That is, friendship standards define the essence of friendship (Hall, 2011;Hartup & Stevens, 1997). ...
... The first dimension used Hartup and Stevens's (1997) term ''symmetrical reciprocity'' to describe loyalty, mutual regard or authenticity, trustworthiness, and support in friendship. Wright (2006) suggests that the essence of friendship can be distinguished by ''the degree that each partner in a friendship considers the other unfeigned and genuine . . . [and] familiarity, trust, and personalized interest, and concern'' are present (p. ...
... The third dimension, solidarity expectations, are expectations of sharing mutual activities (Wright, 2006), being invited to share common activities (Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980), and friendship inclusion maintenance (Oswald et al., 2004). In Hall's (2011) meta-analysis, expectations of attitude, disposition, and activity similarity were all categorized as solidarity expectations. ...
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This multi-study investigation identified and confirmed the factor structure of ideal friendship standards. Study 1 (N = 307) conducted an exploratory factor analysis on 30 existing subscales of friendship expectations. Study 2 (N = 401) reduced 181 items from past subscales and single-item measures of friendship expectations to 51 items measuring six factors. Study 3 (N = 668) used an international internet sample to conduct a confirmatory factor analysis on the six factor model. Samples from studies 2 and 3 were combined and factorial invariance was demonstrated by sample, by participant sex, and by age. The six factors of expectations (i.e., symmetrical reciprocity, agency, enjoyment, instrumental aid, similarity, and communion) constitute the ideal standards of friendship.
... 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 metaanalyses of sex differences in theoretically derived dimensions of friendship expectations: symmetrical reciprocity, communion, solidarity, and agency. For each dimension, hypotheses 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). ...
... 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 metaanalyses of sex differences in theoretically derived dimensions of friendship expectations: symmetrical reciprocity, communion, solidarity, and agency. For each dimension, hypotheses 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). ...
... Symmetrical 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). ...
Article
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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.
... In this research, gender differences in friendship resulted in how gossip functioned distinctly between women and men. This finding may reflect a fact that, compared with male friendships, female friendships are generally more intimate, because women's interaction patterns are more socially oriented and focused on relationship building, forming broader, more holistic friendships rather than circumscribed friendships (Johnson, Veltri, & Hornik, 2008;Wright, 2006). ...
... However, in light of the statistical significance, the effects driven by gender seem to clearly exceed the effects driven by gossip. Thus, these findings are consistent with traditional communal interpersonal relationships among females (Wright, 2006;Zarbatany et al., 2004). ...
Article
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This study examines how gender affects online gossip on social networking sites. Based on gender theories and agency-communion theory, it is posited that achievement value, friendship value, and normative pressure differ according to gender (female vs. male), the level of propensity to gossip (high vs. low), and the interaction between the two. An experimental survey is conducted with 809 general consumers. Between-subjects multivariate analysis of covariance reveals that gender has an impact only on friendship value, whereas propensity to gossip affects achievement value and normative pressure. No interaction effects are observed. However, a subsequent analysis of covariance finds an interaction between gender and propensity to gossip through electronic word-of-mouth for a high-involvement product. In closing, theoretical and managerial implications are discussed while important limitations are recognized.
... Children who meet the friendship expectations of their peers are more often selected as friends by other children (Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980), and young adults who meet or exceed friendship maintenance expectations have more satisfying relationships (Hall, Larson, & Watts, 2011). The ideal standards of friendship represent the mutual dependence and reciprocity inherent to the very nature of friendship (Hartup & Stevens, 1997;Wright, 2006). These standards define what individuals desire, value, and seek in friendships (Hall, 2011). ...
... This dimension of expectations regards friends as objects from which benefits can be obtained, not as relationship partners (Hall, 2011). In considering friendship as an exchange relationship rather than a communal one (Wright, 2006), holding high agency expectations reflects a distinct view of friendship itself. It is in this light that the unusual effects of agency expectations can be interpreted. ...
Article
The present study applies the ideal standards model (ISM) to explore the role of ideal friendship standards on friendship satisfaction in a specific same-sex friendship and responses to unmet expectations in friendships in general. Participants (N = 284) completed an online survey wherein they reported their expectations on six dimensions of friendship, their friendship satisfaction for a close same-sex friendship, and their response to unmet standards in friendship. The influence of participants’ self-evaluations and ideal standards on friendship satisfaction was mediated by the discrepancy between participants’ close friend and participants’ ideal standards. The flexibility of standards failed to explain variance in satisfaction and higher ideal standards were negatively associated with satisfaction. However, the flexibility of standards was negatively associated with direct communication, avoidance, and revenge in response to unmet expectations in friendships, and positively related to loyalty and acceptance. The present investigation clarifies how friendship ideals influence the evaluation of friendship and responses to unmet expectations.
... To explore the different aspects of friendship, we included measures likely to assess expressive aspects of friendship, such as personal sharing, and instrumental aspects of friendship, such as ability to rely upon a person to provide tangible help. As noted above, previous research indicates that women's friendships revolve around emotional expressiveness (Veniegas & Peplau, 1997;Wright, 2006) and the disclosure of intimate information (Braithwaite & Kellas, 2006), leading us to ask respondents the number of people with whom they could discuss a highly personal subject, namely their sex life. Researchers have categorized discussion of personal matters with friends, specifically sex-related topics, as being characteristic of close and emotionally intimate friendships (Aries & Johnson, 1983;Lefkowitz, Boone, & Shearer, 2004). ...
Article
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Drawing on 25,185 responses collected via an online news website, our findings extend and update Fischer and Oliker’s (1983) classic study on gender and life cycle differences in friendship. We found no substantial gender differences in number of friends people can count on to celebrate birthdays, discuss intimate matters like one’s sex life, or depend upon when experiencing trouble late at night (ds =.04–.20); however, number of friendships varied substantially according to marital status, age, and parental status. Residential population size was not associated with number of friendships. We also found that virtually all respondents reported having at least one close friend. Satisfaction with friends was a better predictor of life satisfaction than was number of friends.
... In one of the early scholarly works in men studies, Pleck and Pleck (1980, p. 13) argued that traditional male enclaves, such as the battlefield, pubs, and fraternities, form differentiated male subcultures that encourage intimate ties between equals. Since then, however, a consensus has seemed to form around the notion that men's friendships lack in intimacy compared with women's friendships (Bank & Hansford, 2000;Wright, 2006). Moreover, following Lipman-Blumen's (1976) pioneering discussion of male segregation in social institutions through the concept of homosociality (spaces of male-to-male social relations), it has been further suggested that male socialization in these exclusive enclaves promotes emotional inexpressiveness (Bird, 1996;Levy, 2005;Lyman, 1987;Messner, 1992). ...
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Following a critique of prevalent views of men’s friendships as lacking in emotional expressiveness, this study introduced an empirical model for male bonding derived from the homosocial perspective in men studies. A concept of male homosocial relatedness (MHR) was proposed that integrates the features associated with dyadic friendship with those of group comradeship. This model takes into account that expression of positive and negative emotions associated with male bonding may vary in social legitimacy across relational settings. An inventory of positive and negative emotions associated with MHR was developed and administered to two groups of male combat and noncombat Israeli soldiers (N = 369). Participants completed self-reports of emotional relatedness toward each of three targets: male unit peers, nonmilitary male best friend, and girlfriend. Findings suggest that the structure of emotional relatedness differed between the homosocial settings (male unit peers and best friend) and the heterosexual setting (girlfriend). This supports the importance of social legitimacy in the homosocial setting. As hypothesized, combat soldiers reported greater emotional relatedness both to unit peers and to (nonmilitary) best friend compared with noncombat soldiers. No comparable difference was found between combat and noncombat soldiers in ratings of emotional relatedness toward girlfriends. We suggest that the impact of homosocial socialization, such as found in combat units, extends beyond the homosocial enclave and legitimizes emotional expressiveness in male dyadic bonds as well. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
... One meaningful contextual element is gender. Even though the validity of portraying men and women as opposites has been widely questioned (Burleson, Kunkel, Samter, & Werking, 1996;Canary & Hause, 1993;MacGeorge, Graves, Feng, Gillihan, & Burleson, 2004), male friendships keep appearing-at least in popular literature-as distant, unsatisfying, and instrumental (see Wright, 2006). What we know about men's support provision is that men from the US may be hesitant to respond to another man's emotions (Jakupcak, Salters, Gratz, & Roemer, 2003) and may attempt to engage in problem solving more commonly than women (Burleson & Gilstrap, 2002). ...
Article
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This study aimed to distinguish beneficial and non-beneficial support for men in same-sex friendships. The empirical material was gathered using thematic interviews with 25 Finnish men. Two supportive sequences and five beneficial support approaches were identified. These approaches were listening, compassion, reassurance, appraisal, and distraction. Men described the quality of beneficial support as subtle, authentic, and honest. The results showed that men favored implicit, responsive support over initiated verbal behaviors. The purpose of such support was to be supportive of the seeker’s autonomy and to represent an emotionally solid friend who is unbiased but motivated to support. To determine beneficial support to a group of people, studies need to consider situational factors such as relationship and culture. The results are discussed in light of previous research on supportive communication.
... Gender differences in friendship are quite evident, with women having more intimate and supportive friendships than do men (Dunbar 2010;Parker and de Does Child Gender Predict? Vries 1993;Wright 2006), and both men and women have closer, more supportive relationships with women than with men (Reis et al. 1985). ...
Article
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Inconsistencies in comparisons of older parents’ well-being with that of older, childless adults may be resolved by considering the separate effects of sons and daughters on parents. The hypothesis was that older parents of only daughters have greater life satisfaction, more satisfying relations with their children, more intimate family relations, and greater social support satisfaction compared to older childless adults and parents of only sons. Childless older adults were predicted to have more intimate friends. The effect of having both sons and daughters was also explored. Longitudinal results indicated parents had greater life satisfaction than childless adults, and parents of daughters were more satisfied with relations with their children than parents of only sons. Childless adults had more relations with friends and fewer family intimate relations. Neither social support satisfaction or affect varied across groups. The findings are related to gender socialization, social support, and normative expectations.
... Sex differences in friendship styles also add nuance to the picture. In general, men's same-sex friendships tend to be more numerous and task-oriented, while women's tend to be fewer but more emotionally intense (for review, see, e.g., Hall 2016;Wright 2006). There are corresponding sex differences in self-reported friend preferences, such that men report a stronger preference for traits related to agency or personal capacity, while women report a stronger preference for traits related to intimacy (e.g., Hall 2011;Vigil 2007). ...
Article
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Despite the importance of friendship, the traits that people seek in a friend are not well understood. Here, we pursue the hypothesis that same-sex friendships evolved as ongoing cooperative relationships, so friend preferences should at least partially focus on those traits that would have made someone a good cooperative partner within the conditions of the human ancestral environment. We tested this hypothesis in a face perception paradigm in which undergraduate participants rated the friend desirability of target faces that were also rated on several traits hypothesized to be relevant to friend choice. This allowed us to test the actual predictors of attraction, rather than relying on self-reported preferences. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that judgments of a target person’s desirability as a friend depended on perceptions of their ability to create material benefits in the ancestral environment (e.g., skill as a hunter or gatherer). These effects were not due to an attractiveness “halo effect” or a preference for intelligence more generally. In addition, we found mixed evidence for sex differences that match the typical hunter-gatherer division of labor. We discuss implications of these findings for the study of friend choice, and for understanding social preferences more broadly.
... For example, friends can be of concentrated importance to gay men, providing the kinds of emotional and practical support that family members may be unable or unwilling to provide (Goode- Cross & Good, 2008;Rumens, 2010aRumens, , 2010b. Wright (2006) argued that a current examination of the research literature strongly suggests that a new expanded theoretical relational model may be better for conceptualizing men's friendships than prior essentialist models. Models of special importance would be those that could simultaneously consider contributions of masculine gender roles, social relational contexts, and identity to men's friendships (see Levy, 2005;Migliaccio, 2009;Rumens 2010a). ...
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Abstract This study examined how men’s masculine gender role conflict and the importance men placed on interpersonal relationships in defining their self-identities predicted their relational health experiences in same-sex, dyadic friendships and community relationships. Using an internet sample of 283 self-identified bisexual, gay, and straight men, results of hierarchical linear regression analyses indicated that for men across sexual orientations, the more importance men placed on interpersonal relationships with other men, the greater the degree of relational health they experienced in dyadic friendships. Additionally, for bisexual and gay men in dyadic friendships with other men, gender role conflict was inversely related to the relational health of their friendships. In the domain of community relationships, the importance that bisexual and straight men placed on interpersonal relationships in defining their self-identities and levels of gender role conflict both predicted relational health experiences. For gay men, however, feelings of masculine gender role conflict, alone, predicted poorer relational health in community relationships. Study limitations, clinical implications for practice, and future research directions are discussed. Keywords: friendship, community, relational health, bisexual men, gay men, straight men, relational interdependent self-construal, gender role conflict
... Additionally, gender has been shown in past research to predict avoidance-related behaviors in interracial interactions (Plant, Devine, and Peruche, 2010) and to be related to smiling (e.g., Wright, 2006;Hall, 2006). For these reasons, all reported analyses were repeated with bias expectancies and gender as covariates. ...
Article
I proposed that burdensomeness expectancies are subtle concerns about bearing the burden of explanation on behalf of one’s group that promote avoidance in interracial interactions. Two preliminary studies demonstrated that burdensomeness expectancies are a particular concern for Black/African American individuals and are related to avoidance of interracial contact. In Study 3, I examined whether burdensomeness expectancies could be alleviated and whether doing so would decrease Black participants’ avoidance toward a White confederate. Participants viewed videos in which a White peer, with whom they expected to interact, expressed culturally sensitive or insensitive opinions. A control group saw a video in which the confederate did not discuss race. I assessed self-reported desire to avoid the interaction, avoidance-focused and approach-focused self-regulatory intentions, ratings of confederates, as well as participants’ verbal and nonverbal approach-related behaviors in a video greeting they prepared. The manipulation failed to influence burdensomeness expectancies as intended and did not influence the dependent variables. Theoretical and methodological considerations for future work are discussed.
... Relationship terms with connotations of "brother-in-arms" were located very close to droog (Study 1), and higher ratings of trust and not fearing negative consequences from a friend's actions were related to a greater likelihood of being Russian (Study 2b). Trust is also seen as a friendship characteristic in the Western literature (Hall, 2012;Hartup & Stevens, 1997;Wright, 2006), but in ad-dition to being particularly salient for Russian participants, trust may also be represented differently in the Russian context. Indeed, trust and esteem for one's friend formed a single factor among Russians, whereas trust items were associated with instrumental help (or tended to not load very highly on their respective factor) among Canadians (Study 2a). ...
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Most research on friendship has been grounded in Western cultural worlds, a bias that needs to be addressed. To that end, we propose a methodological roadmap to translate linguistic/anthropological work into quantitative psychological cross-cultural investigations of friendship, and showcase its implementation in Russia and Canada. Adopting an intersubjective perspective on culture, we assessed cultural models of friendship in three inter-related ways: by (1) deriving people’s mental maps of close interpersonal relationships; (2) examining the factor structure of friendship; and (3) predicting cultural group membership from a given person’s friendship model. Two studies of Russians (Study 1, n = 89; Study 2a, n = 195; Study 2b, n = 232) and Canadians (Study 1, n = 89; Study 2a, n = 164; Study 2b, n = 199) implemented this approach. The notions of trust and help in adversity emerged as defining features of friendship in Russia but were less clearly present in Canada. Different friendship models seem to be prevalent in these two cultural worlds. The roadmap described in the current research documents these varying intersubjective representations, showcasing an approach that is portable across contexts (rather than limited to a specific cross-cultural contrast) and relies on well-established methods (i.e., easily accessible in many research contexts).
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This dissertation represents the field of interpersonal communication and focuses on support in Finnish men’s friendships. The purpose of the interpretive research is to depict and understand the phenomenon of social support and supportive communication through men’s experiences. The research aims to distinguish men’s supportive functions, goals and support approaches with friends, and the meaning of three contexts —relationship, gender, and culture— in supportive conversations. By doing so the dissertation addresses the leading theory on supportive communication, the theory of person-centeredness. Men are said to avoid talking about emotional troubles, which reflects on the stereotype of men being poorly skilled at comforting. In fact, many of the problems that Finnish men may encounter in life are rationalized for being the result of little self-disclosure and agentic relationships. Yet, no study so far has explored Finnish men’s supportive communication with friends. Previous, mainly Anglo-American research has found that men and women evaluate similar types of supportive messages as most sensitive and helpful. Nevertheless, men do not discriminate as strongly as women between the highly sophisticated and less sophisticated supportive communication. This is usually explained by men having lesser motivation and skill in providing and processing of such support. Supportive communication, however, is a complex process and both content and non-content elements influence the interpretation of messages. There may be contextual elements that act as triggers for sensations, associations, and heuristics for men, which connect supportive conversations and their benefits together. This dissertation comprises of four peer-reviewed original publications and an overviewing thesis. The studies approached the subject matter in following ways: Social support definitions and men’s experiences of support were reduced to propose the essence of social support (Study I). The subsequent studies built on the essence by scrutinizing how men depict its manifestation—supportive communication—in friendships. The research described the support goals and support approaches that men perceive beneficial and unbeneficial in general (Study II) and in problem-specific situations (Study III). The final sub-study further distinguished the meaningful settings and modes of being for Finnish men to talk about troubles with others (Study IV). The research was conducted with multiple methods: The data consists of two sets of interviews, thematic and episode interviews, as well as of social support definitions. The empirical material was gathered with 25 Finnish men (21–67 years of age, M=41, Mdn=37). The data were analyzed with both qualitative (Studies I, II, III, IV) and quantitative means (Study III). The results reveal that the essence of social support is the awareness of a real or potential void in a person’s life experience, and of otherness, which attempt to assist another in altering the experience to achieve wholeness. The unique nature of individuals’ problems requires accepting one’s own and the friend’s vulnerability as inherent to the lived experience of a human being. This is key in meaningful supportive conversation. Empathy is being part of the experience of another’s coping with verbal and nonverbal means. The results show that the function of Finnish men’s supportive communication is to assist the friend to move forward. Men aim to be with, be for, and reflect with the friend. Consequently, their key support approaches are listening actively and empathically, promoting positive affect, and helping a friend to reappraise his experience. Quietude is also a valued approach in some support situations, particularly in culturally meaningful settings like the sauna or the cabin. The results further propose that supportive communication with a friend who is experiencing a problem is not determined by culture or male gender even though supportive conversations are shaped by these contexts. The provided support depends primarily on the individual’s characteristics and the friendship and problem contexts. Friendship closeness enables the provision of explicit emotional support as the “good friend” identity is more valued than sustaining a “masculine man” identity. The individual’s experience of needing support is unique and therefore authenticity, availability, and support for one’s autonomy are important characteristics of men’s supportive communication. However, meaningful experiences of supportive conversations can take place even with strangers when the interactants share an understanding of “talking deep” as a communication scene. This research shows that individual Finnish men do have close friendships in which emotional support is provided. Meeting vulnerability with empathy enhances connection in men’s friendships. Active-emphatic listening is an important aspect of support provision. The results underline the significance of motivation in supportive communication. Beneficial support acknowledges otherness and is thus experience-centered: The helper is mindful not only, or necessarily, about the friend’s problem but also about his experience of needing and receiving support. Men’s supportive communication situations are typically interpersonal and best oriented towards as unique conversations. They have vast possibilities to entail emotional support as well as distraction with the goal of assisting the friend to endure his autonomous coping. Such supportive communication, which addresses both relational and interactional goals, requires skills in social perception, message production and reception, and interaction coordination.
Article
This study focuses on Finnish men’s talk about troubles and on contexts that shape the communication situation. The data consists of 25 thematic interviews with Finnish- born men of varying ages. We found that men talked about their troubles in face-to-face settings that enabled them to relax. Two specific cultural terms for talk about troubles were distinguished: Talking serious (puhua vakavia) and talking deep (puhua henkeviä). Alcohol was involved either as part of the activities of the physical setting, or as a facilitator of particular modes of being. Within the most common places for troubles talk – sauna, cabin, or a quiet location of a social event – culturally meaningful scenes between two men are created, in which silence can also be supportive.
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Awards: “Shortlisted” for the IGALA Book Prize 2008 “Shortlisted” for the IGALA Book Prize 2008 “Communicating Gender Diversity succeeds in its goal of inviting readers into a conversation on the topic of gender and communication. Amongst the broad range of areas opened up to ongoing critical engagement, upper-level undergraduates may find a wealth of topics to pursue into further study —GENDER IN MANAGEMENT:AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL Communicating Gender Diversity: A Critical Approach examines the variety of ways in which communication of and about gender enables and constrains people's intersectional identities. Authors Victoria Pruin DeFrancisco and Catherine Helen Palczewski place an emphasis not on how gender influences communication, but on how communication constitutes gender. Operating from a gender diversity perspective, Communicating Gender Diversity explores how gender is constructed through interpersonal and public discourse about and in the institutions of family, education, work, religion, and media. The book equips readers with the necessary critical analysis tools to form their own conclusions about the ever changing processes of gender in communication. This comprehensive gender in communication book is the first to extensively address the roles of religion, the gendered body, single-sex education, an institutional analysis of gender construction, social construction theory, and more. Key Features: Offers an intersectional approach: The text does not essentialize gender, but recognizes the way identity ingredients intersect with, and influence, one another.; Integrates social scientific, critical/cultural, and rhetorical analyses: This is the only text that expends extensive time on the work of Judith Butler as it theorizes how gender is something people do and perform, not something they are.; Moves beyond an individual, personal understanding of gender: Gender is not something over which people have absolute control, therefore social change is not something for which a particular person is responsible, but something in which all must participate. Accompanied by High-Quality Ancillaries! Instructor Resources on CD contain a detailed conceptual outline of every chapter, discussion questions, extended quotations from key sources for the chapter, additional exercises, and cultural resources to be used as in-class illustrations, such as Web pages, music, and video examples. Intended Audience This core text is ideal for courses exploring gender, diversity, and communication as found in departments of communication, women's studies, sociology, psychology, and cultural studies. By providing the latest feminist theorists' views on the topic of gender, sex and communication, and offering an interdisciplinary approach especially useful to disciplines in communication studies, rhetoric, women's studies, gender studies, sociology, anthropology, and psychology, this is much more than a textbook; it is a resource book necessary for any library's collection. The extensive literatures cited in the book make it a comprehensive reference for anyone studying gender/sex in communication. “DeFrancisco and Palczewski's book is wonderful. I knew that they were trying to do much more than the previous books, but I hadn't realized just what high goals they had set for themselves — such extensive reviews and fresh analyses. This will be adopted in many courses and they will be doing many editions of this book. What they do with single-sex classes is so very readable, sensible and smart. It's great that they included the chapter on religion; it's about time that that language gets attention… and they did it in such a way that the chapter calls for attention and consideration rather than resistance. Just very impressive. Many, many thanks”. —Cheris Kramarae, Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon, Eugene “College-level collections strong in gender studies and psychology will find “Communicating Gender Diversity” an essential key to understanding how communication facilitates how people do gender.” —IDWEST BOOK REVIEW.
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This study tested the degree to which self-disclosure mediates the effects of gender orientation and homophobia on relational satisfaction, closeness, and commitment in men’s same-sex friendships. Participants included 211 men from the southwest region of the US, who reported on either geographically close (n = 107) or long distance same-sex friendships (n = 104). Results indicated that self-disclosure mediates the positive effect of femininity on satisfaction, closeness, and commitment in men’s same-sex friendships. Self-disclosure also mediates the negative, indirect effects of homophobia on all three relational outcomes. Tests of structural invariance provided no evidence to suggest that the indirect effects of femininity and homophobia on all three relational outcomes vary as a function of geographic distance.
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Friendship is a nonobligatory relationship of choice. Four characteristics of same-sex friends do not appear to differ by sex and show similarity across culture and age groups: propinquity, homophily, inclusion, and symmetrical reciprocity. Three characteristics that distinguish male same-sex friendship from female same-sex friendships are: greater value of instrumental or agentic characteristics in friends, the greater risk of low-quality friendships, and increased homophobia. Three characteristics that distinguish female same-sex friendships from males’ same-sex friendships are: communion and self-disclosure, greater effort and expectations from friends in general, and a greater risk of corumination. There is ongoing need to explore friendship from cross-cultural and multigenerational developmental perspectives to account for both evolutionary and cultural influences.
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Scholars from such disciplines as psychology, family studies, sociology, gerontology, communications and psychiatry have long been interested in the study of personal relationships. Yet all too often these social scientists have worked in isolation and in ignorance of the contributions made in other disciplines. In 1979, Robert Hinde, a British ethologist at Cambridge University, called for a new science of relationships; scholars from all over the world responded and the new interdisciplinary field of personal relationships has emerged. "Understanding Personal Relationships" introduces the reader to this new field by integrating central themes from social psychology, sociology, clinical psychology, family studies, and communications. A comprehensive bibliographic essay by the editors gives an overview of the growth in the field and predicts future areas of research and clinical practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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my task in the present chapter is to move toward an integrative summary of two essentially independent bodies of research bearing on gender differences in the friendships of adults at varying life stages, highlighting those characteristic of the friendships of old age begin with an overall perspective based on a few orienting concepts suggested by Fischer and Oliker / summarize research on same- and cross-gender friendships apart from an explicit consideration of age differences / summarize research with implications for the ways, if any, in which global gender differences are eliminated or modified in various stages of adult development, particularly in old age (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)