Family Groups - Fathers
Men 'are fickle when it comes to friendship'
By DUNCAN ROBERTSON
Daily Mail 8th March 2007
Men are more likely to make friends through shared interests
such as going down the pub for a pint
A four-year investigation recently published
concludes that men are fickle creatures who base their friendships
on what "they can get out of them".
Women, however, make "deeper and more moral"
friends and are more likely to stand by you through thick
They are genuinely interested in their friends
and want to know what they are doing, how they are feeling
and how their families are faring.
The analysis of the behaviour of 10,000 people
showed that men are far shallower and more calculating.
They will typically make friends through shared
interests such as playing football or going down the pub for
a pint, while looking for ways they can profit from their
Men would be much better served by forging links
with women, but only a quarter of them manage to make good
friends with the opposite sex.
"Friendship between women seems to be fundamentally
different to friendship between men," said, Dr Gindo
Tampubolon, who led the research for the University of Manchester.
"It's much deeper and more moral. It's
about the relationship itself rather than what they can get
out of it.
"Women tend to keep their friends through
thick and thin across geography and social mobility.
"And women's view of friendship has something
to do with how they express themselves and form their identity.
"Men, on the other hand, are more fickle
with their relationships and seem more interested in 'what's
in it for me'.
"Adding to the bad news for male prestige,
the study confirms the stereotype that men are likely to base
their friendship on social drinking."
Many men lose touch with friends when they relocate
or change jobs, but are often happy to recruit a fresh social
circle wherever they finish up.
The biggest strains on friendships are when
one or another of the friends gets married, divorced or is
Pregnancy is another prime cause of a "ruptured
friendship", as is having a child move to a new school.
The data also found singletons, pensioners and
white-collar workers were better at pairing up, according
to the data collected for the British Household Panel Surveys
from 1992 to 2002.
Middle-class people are more likely to cast
their net of friendship far wider, whereas working-class people
had most of their friends within their socio-economic group.
A previous study has shown that busy modern
lifestyles have led to a dramatic fall in the number of close
friends young men can confide in.
In the past 20 years, the figure has dropped
from an average of 3.5 to two – with almost a quarter
of men admitting they have nobody they can speak to about
The research from Duke University in North California
said "there was a trend towards smaller, closer social
networks more centred on spouses and partners".