Men’s Friendship Study

This study is ongoing and is currently accepting participants. There are two ways to participate – either through the individual survey, or in a group interview.  Please click here to go to the study’s website and learn more.

There has not been much in-depth research done on the topic of men and homosociality, which is the term used to describe social interactions among individuals of the same gender (Kaplan, 2005). To date, studies have explored how men with military background (Kaplan, 2005), or who have attended military college together (Flood, 2008), interact with each other and the effects of how being around many men affect their interactions with each other in private (Flood, 2008) and semi-public spheres (Kaplan, 2005). With the exception of that research, little research studying men’s homosocial relationships has been conducted to look in depth into the physical aspects of men’s friendships. Previous research that has examined male touch has only discussed male touch in the form of aggression or joking (Kaplan, 2005) and only skimmed the surface of topics like embracing and sensual touch and included no conclusive findings. In addition, the literature does not include research exploring men’s intimate feelings about each other or how those intimate feelings within their friendship inform their behaviors with one another (Kaplan, 2005). The aim of this study is to gain in depth knowledge of how men interact with their male friends both from a psychological and behavioral perspective. As Kimmel (2009) described, men interact and bond by doing things together, so for that reason, we feel it is important to understand and observe men “in action” while spending time together.

In this study we will focus on how men interact with each other and how they view their friendships with each other.  The existing research on male homosociality has largely been conducted with males on their friendships and has focused primarily on dyadic relationships, and not on the relationships among a group. When dyads have been discussed they have typically been discussed in regards to female-female or female-male dyads (Hall & Veccia, 1990). In an effort to expand the literature in this regard, this study design focuses on adding a group component, allowing groups of men to participate in addition to measuring individual men’s feelings and attitudes toward their friendships with other men.

 

References

Flood, M. (2008). Men, Sex, and Homosociality. Men & Masculinities, 10(3), 339-359.

Hall, J. & Veccia, E. (1990). More” touching” observations: New insights on men, women, and interpersonal touch. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(6), 1155-1162.

Kaplan, D. (2005). Public intimacy: Dynamics of seduction in male homosocial interactions. Symbolic Interation, 28(4), 571-595.

Kimmel, M. (2009). Guyland: The perilous world where boys become men. New York City, NY: Harper.

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