Some women have more guy friends. Other women have more girl friends. Does it really matter? People might jump to the conclusion that women with more guy friends are more promiscuous or want backup in case their relationship goes awry. However, that might not be the case at all, according to a study by an Arizona State University professor and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor.
The study by ASU Professor Douglas Kenrick and MIT Professor Joshua Ackerman focused on cooperative courtship and how friends help other friends gain and avoid romantic relationships. For those women with male friends, the study suggests that they are cooperative in helping male friends successfully find or avoid a mate.
In the introduction of the study, the authors say that “cooperation and helping are hallmarks in every domain of social life.” They go on to say that people look for friends who can provide protection, support, help on different tasks, etc. The introduction also suggests that women might look to have friendships with strong men who are willing to protect them in certain situations.
Another study from the two professors and Mark Schaller, a professor from the University of British Columbia, focused on friendship and its relation to kinship. The results revealed that women are more likely to treat friendships like kinship. This means that women are less likely to have sexual relations with male friends than men with female friends.
The authors stated that “women may be much more likely than men to also respond negatively to the prospect of sexual relations with any individuals who are associated with superficial kinship cues of the sort that characterize many friendships,” in addition to responding negatively to sexual relations with close kin.
So don’t always assume that women with tons of male friends only have one thing on their mind. The men might think otherwise, but the women usually don’t have that on their mind.
Despite research, it seems many women and men are still concerned with the guy friend situation. Just googling “women with guy friends” reaps many articles discussing the issue.