November 12, 2014
I get, on average, 40 billion emails per week from girls asking me about their male besties. The Head Betches and I have long argued that such arrangements are exceedingly rare, and yet every time we say that there’s some idiot in the comments braying about how we’re full of shit and that all of their friends are guys and it’s totally chill. Well, that’s fucking wrong, and science has known this since 2012.
Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (is that even a real school?) conducted a study designed to ascertain the way men and women approach cross-sex friendships, and the results are exactly what you’d expect:
"Because cross-sex friendships are a historically recent phenomenon, men's and women's evolved mating strategies impinge on their friendship experiences," said the researchers.
To be fair, it’s not your fault that these friendships don’t work out - it’s the guys’ fault, as are most things. They found that single men, regardless of age, showed a much stronger sexual attraction to their female friends than women did. Men also tend to overestimate how attractive their female friends find them.
Perhaps more troubling, cross-sex friends were linked to relationship dissatisfaction - basically, if you think it’s weird that your boyfriend is making a lot of ladyfriends, you’re probably onto something. To be fair, they aren’t sure whether cross-sex friendship leads to dissatisfaction or vice versa, but that’s still a pretty grim correlation.
No one’s saying that it’s utterly impossible to be friends with guys. We’re just saying there’s an exceptionally strong chance that your guy friends want to fuck you.