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“There are women that talk about sports, and there are men that don’t just talk about sports,” Greif adds.“But there’s a sense that if you’re a man and you want to make friends with a man, you’re better off if you either played sports or are able to talk a little bit about sports.” A study in suggested that men bonded over activities—like sports, video games, and going out to bars to meet women—and reserved “emotional sharing” for their opposite-sex partners.While I disagree with Hamlett’s implication that men are incapable of “unpaid emotional labor” in their relationships—I have scream-cried my feelings at many, many men—I do see where the archetypal male friendship, which is built on sports and beer, might preclude the airing of feelings.That model is culturally reinforced to the extent that, for a long time, men with mostly female friends were objects of suspicion.“It really is easier for me to just be casual with women, and eventually become friends, rather than dudes,” he says of his platonic friendships.

Now we expect men to make themselves available to female co-workers as friends and mentors, and vice versa.

When Vice President Mike Pence said that he wouldn’t dine alone with any woman except his wife, the backlash was immediate: Pence’s puritanical resistance to unchaperoned chit-chat with women at work was seen as discriminatory and antiquated.

While the office is a common place for men and women to develop relationships (the term “work wife” has slipped quietly into the “this sounds sexist” class of phrases), some men are chronic befrienders of women in and out of the office.

Friendships between men and women are on the rise in the U. In recent times, there’s been less cultural skepticism around friendships between gay men and straight women—though those relationships can also be fraught—but platonic relationships between straight, unmarried men and women are still subject to some suspicion, particularly beyond childhood. D., a professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, wrote that 65 percent of women and 75 percent of men reported having nonsexual friendships with the opposite gender.

(He attributed the reported discrepancy to the subjectivity of relationships, and concluded that an equal percentage of men and women have platonic friendships.

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