Now, look. The thing is, right, that science isn’t always, so to speak, an exact science. There are lots of studies happening at all times, and some of them are wrong. Someone, somewhere, has probably proved with science that the Earth is flat, a theory which you can disprove by looking at literally any other planet or moon. Some Dutch students once got a study published that ‘proved’ that it’s possible to cough a litre of piss. It is not. Science: sometimes it’s wrong.
That is what we recommend telling your girlfriend if she asks you about this study that claims that men enjoy hanging out with their mates more than their girlfriends.
Look at these two! Having an absolute whale of a time.
A study published in Men and Masculinities, which is actually very scientific and not just a wordy FHM, claims that modern men are undergoing a kind of anti-masculine renaissance, distancing themselves from arcane macho ideals and embracing opening up, being themselves and general being lovely emotional softies. GOOD. Male suicide is an epidemic that can overwhelmingly be attributed to toxic standards of masculinity, running a grotty gamut from ‘stiff upper lip’ to ‘boys will be boys’. Not to mention the obvious links between macho ideals and homophobia, misogyny and sexual conservatism. Fuck off, masculinity. You’re tacky and we hate you.
However, a side effect of all this is that men are now so good at enjoying each other’s company that they like hanging out with their bros even more than their girlfriends.
Apparently, the 30 straight undergraduate men who were surveyed claimed “that it was easier for them to overcome conflicts and express their emotions” in their male friendships, and they “felt less judged by their close male friends than by their girlfriends”.
Squad goals!!! Haha, lovely. Look at them there, they’re having a nice time.
It has to be said; 30 is a ludicrously small sample size for a study. Thirty UNDERGRADUATES is an especially weak selection to represent men as a whole, especially considering how little campus friendships and relationships resemble grown-up ones. It’s also not unreasonable to assume that “felt less judged by their close male friends than by their girlfriends” may in part be a reaction against the rise of so-called ‘call out culture’ and the general rough ride men are (very reasonably) getting in the press thanks to the likes of Ched Evans, Harvey Weinstein and, duh, Donald Trump.
Still, there’s the study. Be careful how you deploy it, for god’s sake.
(Main image credit: Cole Hutson)