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Lecture 15

PS287 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Role Conflict, Gender Role, Homophily

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Nicky Newton

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Cross-Sex Friendship
Friendship with someone of the other sex; not romantic, sexual, or familial
Less common than same-sex
Most children have/had a cross-sex friend
Number of cross-sex friends decreases after early-mid adulthood
Changing social roles for men and women make cross-sex friendships more possible today
Comparison to Same-Sex Friendship
Similar to same-sex in some ways
Intimacy, loyalty, shared activities
Less intimate for women
Men gain more emotional support and intimacy from cross-sex friendships
In sum, cross-sex friendships offer:
More emotional support for men
Companionship for women
Perspective of other sex for both girls and boys, men and women
Obstacles to Cross-Sex Friendships
Emotional Bond: friendship or romance?
Sexual: view as romantic/sexual partner
Equality: existing unequal status of men and women
Audience: public’s perception
Opportunity: difficult to establish friendship due to segregation
Greatest challenges are emotional bond and sexual
Cross-Race Friendships
Race: powerful determinant of friendship
Homophily: tendency to form friendships with persons of same ethnic/racial group
Prejudice; less opportunity to interact
School, neighborhood, work often informally segregated
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