A project of the Child Trends News Service supported by the National Science Foundation

Girl vs. Boy Friendships

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — For years, scientists have thought that girls build stronger friendships than boys. But research now shows that might not be the case, and that each gender may bring something different to the table in terms of friendship.

Girls or boys: Do either have the edge when it comes to friendships? Researchers have always thought that friendships among girls were stronger. But researchers are now questioning whether this is true. In fact, boys report being just as satisfied with their friendships as girls.

But the scientists did find that each sex was better at certain tasks of friendship. For instance, girls were superior at expressing care, concern, and affection; disclosing details about themselves; helping; and managing conflict. Boys excelled at generating fun and excitement, being forgiving, and not getting jealous. The bottom line: While boys’ and girls’ friendships might look different, they both have the ability to create lasting bonds.

While it’s more common for children to stick to their own gender when it comes to friendships, many do become friends with members of the opposite sex. Interestingly, boy-girl friendships are more likely to occur outside of school.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Research cited from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cdep.12214

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