Women favour dyadic relationships, but men prefer clubs : cross-cultural evidence from social networking

David-Barrett, Tamas and Rotkirch, Anna and Carney, James and Izquierdo, Isabel Behncke and Krems, Jaimie A. and Townley, Dylan and McDaniell, Elinor and Byrne-Smith, Anna and Dunbar, Robin I M (2015) Women favour dyadic relationships, but men prefer clubs : cross-cultural evidence from social networking. PLoS ONE, 10 (3): e0118329. ISSN 1932-6203

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The ability to create lasting, trust-based friendships makes it possible for humans to form large and coherent groups. The recent literature on the evolution of sociality and on the net- work dynamics of human societies suggests that large human groups have a layered struc- ture generated by emotionally supported social relationships. There are also gender differences in adult social style which may involve different trade-offs between the quantity and quality of friendships. Although many have suggested that females tend to focus on inti- mate relations with a few other females, while males build larger, more hierarchical coali- tions, the existence of such gender differences is disputed and data from adults is scarce. Here, we present cross-cultural evidence for gender differences in the preference for close friendships. We use a sample of *112,000 profile pictures from nine world regions posted on a popular social networking site to show that, in self-selected displays of social relation- ships, women favour dyadic relations, whereas men favour larger, all-male cliques. These apparently different solutions to quality-quantity trade-offs suggest a universal and funda- mental difference in the function of close friendships for the two sexes.

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© 2015 David-Barrett et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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?? general agricultural and biological sciencesgeneral biochemistry,genetics and molecular biologygeneral medicineagricultural and biological sciences(all)biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology(all)medicine(all) ??
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16 May 2016 09:24
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16 Jul 2024 10:03