Same Sex And Cross Sex Relationships Sociology Essay Essay

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Like armour, good friends make us about unbeatable, capable of guarding off the blows life on occasion deals us. The demand for societal bonding and friendly relationship is established at birth and evolves from so on. Although it is recognized and learned at a really immature age, friendly relationship can hold a different significance for everyone. You may take your friends based on fondness, revelation, or shared values and involvements. Since friendly relationship is so common and natural, the fluctuations and types of friendly relationships every bit good as the different ways we interact within those friendly relationships, are frequently over-looked and often non paid attending to. Within this paper I will analyze the chief types of friendly relationships human-beings normally experience, same-sex friendly relationships and cross-sex friendly relationships. I will besides be analyzing how we interact within these friendly relationships, the similarities and differences between them, and will be supplying illustrations to assist you derive a better penetration on the subjects. Since friendly relationship is such a prevailing portion of life, it is of import to to the full understand why we form the relationships we do and what makes these relationships work for us ; because by being cognizant of how different friendly relationships map may assist your relationships be more successful in the hereafter.

Same-Sex Friendships

Friendship in general has been the focal point of a considerable sum of surveies ; nevertheless most of these surveies have chiefly focused on same-sex friendly relationships. A same-sex friendly relationship is a relationship where both persons have the same sexual beginning. This would represent male-male and female-female friendly relationships. This is the most common type of friendship adult females and work forces will normally see and there are many similarities and differences discussed between the two types of relationships.


A assortment of differences have been investigated within male-male and female-female friendly relationships, but by far the most outstanding difference studied would be that adult females ‘s friendly relationships tend to be more expressive, emotional, intimate, richer, and include more self-disclosure than work forces ‘s ; whereas work forces ‘s tend to be more instrumental and are task, goal- , and activity-oriented ( Wright & A ; Scalon, 1991 ; Monsour, 1992 ; Duck & A ; Wright, 1993 ; Brehm, 1992 ) . Women ‘s friendly relationships are represented as intimate relationships in which sharing feelings and speaking are the most prevailing activities. Men ‘s friendly relationships are represented as one ‘s in which sharing activities such as athleticss or work dominate interaction ( Walker, 1994 ) . Women ‘s friendly relationships are face to face: they talk, call together, portion secrets, and that is what makes their friendship satisfying. Men ‘s friendly relationships are side by side and about ever revolve around some type of activity. For work forces, it is the making, non the speaking, that makes a friendship stopping point ( Floyd, 2009 ) . The speaking that does travel on within female-female relationships compared to male-male relationships could non be more different. Womans will about ever exchange feelings and speak about jobs and work forces will discourse athleticss, work, or what is go oning in their immediate lives. An of import difference between same-sex friendly relationships is that female 1s tend to be more orientated towards emotional familiarity than male friendly relationships ( Dickens & A ; Perlman, 1981 ) . Work force will by and large be less physically fond with other work forces ( caressing, seting weaponries around each other, snoging ) because they know that this behaviour goes against cultural norms. While taking gender functions into consideration, adult females are technically raised to be more unfastened and nurturing, whereas work forces are raised to be masculine and competitory.

Movie Examples

One illustration of media that displays how adult females interact within female friendly relationships is the hit film Sex and the City, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon. This film follows four best friends in Manhattan, who portion their travels in life and love and their day-to-day treatments of love affair and gender. In the film Sarah Jessica Parker plays Carrie Bradshaw, A New York author who has a column on sex, love, and relationships. She is eventually acquiring married to her on-again off-again fellow of old ages. When he stands her up the twenty-four hours of her nuptials, it ‘s her three girlfriends who are left to comfort and back up her, being at that place for her every measure of the manner through a long, dramatic recovery procedure. With the aid of her girlfriends, Carrie ‘s life finally returns to normalcy. As they are sitting discoursing their adversities and the importance of friendly relationship, Samantha says, “ We made a trade ages ago. Work force, babes, does n’t count. We ‘re soul couples! ”

Another illustration of media that displays how work forces interact within male friendly relationships is the film Old School, starring Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Luke Wilson plays Mitch, a adult male with a good occupation, a house, and a healthy confidant relationship ; or so he thinks. Until one twenty-four hours Mitch catches an early flight place to happen out his girlfriend has non precisely been faithful over the old ages. When Mitch addresses his friends, Frank and Beanie, they discuss how they have all come to a hamlets in their lives. They can take to be responsible grownups with married womans, households and steady occupations ; or they can prorogue maturity in favour of returning to college and get down a fraternity with all the merriment and none of the instruction. Alternatively of the three friends turn toing their jobs head on or assisting each other come to footings with the complications in their lives, they closet their feelings and do non happen a proper solution. Now, the bulk of their clip is consumed in the activity of get downing a fraternity together, centered on imbibing, adult females and populating a unworried life. As you can see, these films depict same-sex friendly relationships between females and same-sex friendly relationships between males really otherwise.


Gender differences that exist between male-male friendly relationships and female-female friendly relationships have clearly been demonstrated in the literature but recently, bookmans have questioned its magnitude ( Fehr, 2000 ) . Research emphasizes the fact that both work forces and adult females look for more or less the same things from their same-sex friendly relationships, they merely carry through acquiring it in different ways. Male friendly relationships are non inferior to female friendly relationships. Work force may non be physically or emotionally expressive, but they besides derive great support from their friendly relationships ( Zaslow, 2010 ) . The fact that adult females ‘s and work forces ‘s relationships differ does non intend that friendly relationships are more of import to one sex than the other. It is believed that because adult females portion and show feelings more openly with each other, adult females ‘s friendly relationships are more hearty than work forces ‘s are. Research has demonstrated that adult females and work forces report equal degrees of intimacy in their same-sex friendly relationships ( Floyd, 1995 ) . What do differ between the male-male and female-female relationships are merely the features that make those specific friendly relationships near. For adult females, the cardinal feature is shared conversation ; for work forces, its shared activity ( Floyd, 2009 ) .

Movie Examples

Two films that express similar female-female friendly relationships and male-male friendly relationships is The Sandlot and Now and Then. The Sandlot, starring Tom Guiry as Scotty Smalls and Mike Vitar as Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, is about the summer adventures of a group of local baseball brothers. These little town baseball participants are immature neighborhood friends who grew up together. They besides all have one common involvement that keeps their friendly relationships booming, their love of baseball, which is what their summer escapades are chiefly focused about. These male childs are all really different, and throughout the film are non physically or emotionally expressive towards one another, but remain friends through the old ages merely because of the shared activities they enjoy making with one another. Subsequently on in the film, after the male childs made the passage into maturity, Benny Rodriguez becomes a professional baseball participant and Scotty Smalls is a athleticss observer for one of his games. After Benny hits a place tally ball to win the game he looks up at Scotty and gives him a moving ridge and Scotty looks back at him smiling and nods with blessing. These shows the work forces are still friends from childhood, and their friendly relationship is still chiefly focused around the shared activity and the memories they have playing together many old ages ago.

The film Now and Then, starring Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Gabby Hoffman and Ashley Aston Moore, is about four inseparable childhood friends who experience one of the most eventful and dramatic summers of their lives together. They are besides neighborhood friends who grew up together in the same country. Their summer started out normal with trying to salvage up money to purchase a tree house and tell-all truth or daring Sessionss, and so all of a sudden their not-so-innocent universe of childhood escapade was cracked by the world of divorce and a decease in one of their households. Although they are immature, they are at that place for each other in get the better ofing these calamities together and giving each other a shoulder to tilt on through it all. Experiencing these adversities together makes their bonds stronger than of all time and leads them to do a treaty one summer twenty-four hours saying that they would ever be at that place for each other, no affair what happened in life, all for one and one for all. They stayed true to their treaty subsequently in life, and remained in contact. They met back in their hometown whenever necessary to speak, to shout, or merely portion laughs and reminisce about old memories when they needed a friend. These misss remained friends later in life non because of the activities they shared together, but chiefly because of the emotional bond they developed with one another. These two films depict similar same-sex relationships because they are both focused on childhood friends in which a strong bond still remains throughout maturity, but the grounds of why the bonds still remain subsequently in life differ from the female friendly relationships to the male friendly relationships.

Cross-Sex Friendships

A cross-sex friendly relationship is where one person in the relationship is a adult male and one person in the relationship is a adult female. Cross-sex friendly relationships are a comparatively new construct and have merely existed for about 100 old ages ( Swain, 1992 ) . Changes in our society have made the being of cross-sex friendly relationships possible. These friendly relationships can be hard to set up, and present a figure of different challenges than same-sex friendly relationships.


Cross-sex friendly relationships can be hard at times. O’Meara ( 1989 ) presented four challenges that occur at some point during a friendly relationship between two persons

of the opposite sex. First, the persons need to face the emotional bond that exists between them. They need to turn to the bond, and clearly distinguish between each other what it is. The feelings that exist between two cross-sex friends can be confounding and difficult to set up between romantic or non-romantic feelings. This is of import to turn to in the beginning of your relationship due to the fact if it goes ignored, it can perplex your relationship in the hereafter. The 2nd challenge is the added concern of sexual attractive force ( O’Meara 1989 ) . Sexuality becomes an issue in cross-sex friendly relationships. Added sexual dimension in a friendly relationship can do jobs, for this ground many make the determination non to affect gender in their friendly relationship in order to continue the relationship. The 3rd challenge that O’Meara ( 1989 ) nowadayss is inequality and power. He states that work forces are frequently seen as dominant in our society. This can frequently present jobs in cross-sex friendly relationships because the two persons must happen a manner to experience as though they are equal. The 4th challenge described by O’Meara ( 1989 ) is public relationships. He states that cross-sex friends frequently have to cover with how they are viewed by others, which consequences in them frequently holding to support the position of their friendly relationship. Many find it hard to accept the fact that a adult male and adult female can hold a Platonic relationship.

Movie Example

A film that accurately describes some of the jobs that arise from cross-sex friendly relationships is My Best Friend ‘s Wedding, starring Julia Roberts, Dermont Mulroney and Cameron Diaz. In this movie Julia Roberts plays Julianne Porter a New York nutrient critic who has a longtime male friend Michael O’Neil ( Dermont Mulroney ) . They have remained friends since college and take what seemed to be a really normal Platonic relationship. They talked frequently about relationships, household, and enjoyed making many of the same activities together. That all changed one twenty-four hours when Michael called Julianne to state her he had late become engaged. While taking this information in she realizes she loves Michael herself and sets out to undermine his nuptials with lone yearss before the ceremonial. Her tactics fail and Julianne eventually has to accept she has lost her love and longtime friend to another adult female.


There are besides grounds that cross-sex friendly relationships are successful and rewarding relationships for both parties, although it is non every bit common as the jobs and challenges that can originate from these friendly relationships. Some research workers have proposed that male persons initiate cross-sex friendly relationships to hold entree to sex and females initiate cross-sex friendly relationships for protection ( Bleske-Rechek & A ; Buss, 2001 ) . Some cross-sex friends invite gender into the friendly relationship. The added sexual dimension in a friendly relationship can be a pleasant facet within the relationship, but can besides do many jobs if you are non careful. Cross-sex relationships are valued because they provide a opportunity for work forces to develop friendly relationships with adult females because they are looking for more emotional and physical intimacy. They may desire to develop a friendly relationship in hunt for more self-disclosure and more conversation about personal topics. Opportunities are they do non see this within their male friendly relationships because they assume their male friends will be of small aid or they fear looking effeminate. Women, on the other manus, might be looking to organize friendly relationships with work forces in order to hold a relationship that requires less familiarity, less personal talk, and more of an activity-based friendly relationship.

Movie Example

Although I am certain illustrations of successful cross-sex friendly relationships exist in world, the bulk of cross-sex friendly relationships displayed in the media about ever end in a debatable state of affairs. Normally one member of a Platonic friendly relationship ends up desiring to be romantically involved with the other. Therefore it was disputing to happen a valid illustration of a successful cross-sex friendly relationship, and I did non win in bring outing one.


After discoursing the similarities and differences within same-sex friendly relationships, every bit good as cross-sex friendly relationships and how they can be honoring or debatable ; I hope that you have gained a broader apprehension within the complicated topic of friendly relationship. It is inevitable that we all need and strive for friendly relationship, and by looking deeper into a certain country of friendly relationship you may happen it can really reply many normally asked inquiries or assist decide a job you may be holding within one of your ain personal relationships. This should help you in building your significance of friendly relationship every bit good as finding precisely how you are influenced by your friendly relationships and how your friendly relationships are influenced by you.

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