Updated: Sep 7, 2019
While pondering the various aspects of social notions, we will indefinitely stumble upon perplexing inquires. Most notable and a quite recent one would be the question which conveys both emotional and physical empathies to somewhat bewildering elevations; can men and women be friends? For the most substantial portion of human history, men and women while existing on the same planet were separated by a variety of former social norms. For instance, men would spend the majority of their times around other men on the hunt back in the ancient primitive eras while women would stay in their residences with other women complying food and other household duties. Even after marriage, the two genders would participate in differing social lives. These homosocial lifestyles remained until the 19th and early 20th century where then women started to take part in the battlefields and educational systems; it was at that revolutionary moment that cross-sex “friendships” began to emerge slowly. As the pace at which women invaded the formerly recognized predominate men fields, a method in which men and women could co-exist in a fashion deprived of any sexual or romantic values had to be invented. And now, more than a century later, we are still trying to devise such means.
The scientific community have carried a sum of experiments on this sweltering inquiry; the conclusions were all said to be inadequate due to our limited understanding of emotions. Emotions intervene in our cross-sex friendships because of one’s hunger for sexual covetousness, this problem seems to be arguably one-sided, as far as the results of science go, men seem to be the star of this dilemma. The socially known “cold gender” is the one who’s in most need of both sexual and emotional necessities. Peculiarly enough that’s what the study in the University of Wisconsin* has given out, it stated that when 88 different pairs of men and women were tested. Women were “fine” with carrying a coitus-less affiliation, however men were clandestinely eager for a more intimate relationship.
“A woman may very well form a friendship with a man, but for this to endure, it must be assisted by a little physical antipathy.” Said the German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche
A thought that may be dwindling in your head is “This is fallacious, I do have friends from the differing gender” and while you may be right in the perspective of yourself, you could be entirely erroneous in assuming it to be true from their side as well. Yourself or the other party could be hosting a variety of emotions either romantic or sexual or even both but have yet to recognize it, because you’re yet to think about the other party in such manner; however this indeed doesn't nullify the existence of any emotions toward the heterosexual friends of yours. Your urges could be carried subconsciously, waiting passionately on an act, a word or touch to be reveled spontaneously.
Brett and Kate McKay* two bright writers have said that the only way in which the two genders could exist in such friendship, is in one which has caveats. But in that sense the term “Friendship” loses its foundations. So, In conclusion, this is a question that will still be debated over the next coming centuries, it really goes back to the kind of “friendship” one is pursing and how close should the two be.
Reference 1: https://mic.com/articles/17796/friend-zone-university-of-wisconsin-study-claims-it-is-impossible-for-men-and-women-to-be-just-friends#.DLcbvCTKE
Reference 2: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/can-men-and-women-just-be-friends/