- by cnn
- 05 Dec 2023
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Friendships aren't just about those you sit with on the school bus or play alongside on your childhood baseball team - they are a core component of the human experience, experts say.
But making and retaining deep, meaningful friendships as an adult is hard, especially for men, according to research.
Less than half of men report being satisfied with their friendships, and only about 1 in 5 said they had received emotional support from a friend in the last week, compared with 4 in 10 women, according to a 2021 survey from the Survey Center on American Life.
The falling off of friendships between men begins around middle and late adolescence and grows starker in adulthood, said Judy Yi-Chung Chu, who teaches a class on boys' psychological development at Stanford University. And those who do maintain friendships with other men say they tend to have lower levels of emotional intimacy than women report.
"Boys don't start emotionally disconnected; they become emotionally disconnected," said Dr. Niobe Way, a researcher and a professor of applied psychology at New York University.
All humans have the innate capacity and desire for close, emotionally intimate connections with others. We need these relationships for survival as babies and then to thrive as we get older, Chu said.
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