Original article:

Friends with benefits, but without the sex: Straight women and gay men exchange trustworthy mating advice

Evolutionary Psychology 11(1): 132-147 Eric M. Russell, Department of Psychology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, USA, ericmrussell@yahoo.comDanielle J. DelPriore, Department of Psychology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, USAMax E. Butterfield, Department of Psychology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, USASarah E. Hill, Department of Psychology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, USA

Abstract

Although research has made progress in elucidating the benefits exchanged within same- and opposite-sex friendships formed between heterosexual men and women, it is less clear why straight women and gay men form close relationships with one another. The current experiments begin to address this question by exploring a potential benefit hypothesized to be uniquely available to straight women and gay men in the context of these friendships: trustworthy mating advice. Experiment 1 revealed that straight women perceive mating-relevant advice from a gay man to be more trustworthy than similar advice offered by a straight man or woman. Experiment 2 demonstrated that gay men perceive mating advice offered by a straight woman to be more trustworthy than advice offered by a lesbian woman or another gay man. Overall, the results provide initial experimental evidence that relationships between gay men and straight women may be characterized by a mutual exchange of mating-relevant benefits in the absence of sexual interest or competition.

Keywords

friendship, heterosexual women, homosexual men, trustworthiness, human mating.

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Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)
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