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Should Men And Women Be Friends? Study Looks At Opposite Sex Friendships

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/04/2012 1:57 pm

Should Men And Women Be Friends
A new study asks whether women and men should be friends

Can men and women be friends? It's an age-old question pondered in films like "When Harry Met Sally" and the recent viral YouTube hit, "Why Men And Women Can't Be Friends".

But now, researchers aren't asking if it's possible, instead questioning whether men and women should be friends in the first place, Post Media News reports.

To find out, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire examined opposite-sex friendships of more than 400 heterosexual adults, ranging in age from 18 to 52.

Published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the findings, which analyzed two separate studies, concluded that men tend to be more attracted to their female friends than the women felt toward their male pals.

It also seems, according to the research paper, that men surveyed overestimated the attraction female friends felt toward them.

According to Post Media News, Dr. April Bleske-Rechek, the study's principal researcher, said men's behavior might be "more sexually opportunistic" as they "faced the risk of being shut out, genetically, if they didn't take advantage of various reproductive opportunities"

But the real takeaway from the study, as noted by Gawker, lies in the risk an opposite-sex friendship might pose to your current relationship. The research showed people who found their platonic friends attractive were less likely to be satisfied in their romantic relationships.

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