Study Shows Male Friendships Are More High Maintenance Than Female

A phone call is not enough for blokes.

Image Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc

Bad news if you’re a man trying to keep hold of your friends: phone calls are not going to help you at all.

Or at least, this is what a new study is telling us. Professor Robin Dunbar, from the Psychology department at Oxford University, has released a study that suggests male friendships are way more high maintenance than female ones.

Dunbar conducted the study on 30 teenagers as they left home to go to university or work, and it turns out it’s all about your sex when it comes to friends.

Men need to do "stuff" together Image NBC

According to Dunbar, girls’ friendships were more likely to survived prolonged periods of separation because they made the effort to speak on the phone as often as possible. But this didn’t work for the boys.

While the talking helped girls maintain their friendships, Dunbar says that “talking had absolutely no effect on boys’ relationships at all.”

Dunbar was actually shocked by the results, claiming that “it was a very striking sex difference”.

“The caricature is if you move away to another town, girls will be on the phone or Facebook with each other to keep the relationship going,” he added.

“With guys, it is ‘out of sight out of mind’. They just find four more guys to go drinking with.” 

Apparently, men need to engage and do stuff together, like playing football or having drinks together at the pub. Otherwise, the friendship doesn’t survive.

Image © Warner Bros

Dunbar has this belief that with women, the friendship is more intense because they are “more akin to a romantic relationship” that can end in catastrophe, which is what motivates them to keep their friendships.

So basically, women are cool with speaking on the phone, but men hate talking about their feelings, so they need to play some sports or get drunk. Sounds about right to us…

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