More and more young men are embracing the benefits of ‘bromances’ with close male friends, a new study has shown. Young men’s same-sex relationships are becoming more emotional and intimate, allowing them to achieve a new level of closeness. This means they are more likely to share intimate secrets with their friends than their girlfriends.
Researchers believe that a decline in homophobia is to thank for the rise of the bromance. Researchers from the University of Winchester were interested in understanding why lots of young men are socially encouraged to enjoy deep, emotional and physically intimate friendships. To investigate this, the researchers conducted interviews with 30 heterosexual men studying sports degrees at university.
The study aimed to examine what the men understood bromances to be, to what extent they privileged the relationship, and how they were enacted. Participants were asked about their involvement in and openness to secret sharing, emotional intimacy, bed sharing, nudity and kissing other men. An analysis of the results showed that each of the 30 men had had at least one bromantic friend at some point in time. The men were unanimous in describing what the bromance entailed, and how it positively impacted their lives. They agreed that deep emotional disclosure is essential in bromances.
Many of the men surveyed noted that they could only fully discuss matters such as health issues or sexual desires in complete confidence with their bromantic friends, and not with family or girlfriends.
Many of the men surveyed noted that they could only fully discuss matters such as health issues or sexual desires in complete confidence with their bromantic friends, and not with family or girlfriends. The results indicate that bromances have become widespread in university culture, and that men see these relationships as real and not a fantasy, according to the researchers. The team is now urging academics to see bromances as an important factor in the everyday lives of men.