“Isn’t that something you just know?” Young Men’s Descriptions of Intimacy within Same-Gender Friendships
Sammanfattning: Prior research suggests a gender difference in friendship intimacy where men repeatedly report less intimacy. While several studies have identified a gender difference, others have raised alternative possibilities to explain the gender difference, such as measurement error, or that men’s friendships function differently from women’s friendships. Our qualitative study explored the possibility that men’s friendships are different than what is described in the literature using an inductive and anonymous online survey. The collected data from 64 self-identified men in emerging adulthood (19-25 years) was thematically analyzed to present a thematic map of their perception of intimacy in close friendship. Findings indicated that the participants valued their close friendships highly and that the generated themes showed an overall high degree of similarity with earlier studies. However, the themes confrontational honesty, flow, and timeless connection diverged from prior research and are discussed. We provide suggestions for future research that can advance the understanding of the divergent themes, and further the understanding of intimacy in men’s close same-gender friendships.
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