Well, who knew? Although there's always a need for more efforts, it seems gender stigmas and traditional stereotypes have most definitely loosened up within recent decades. That means a decline in homophobia, more sexual liberty and, perhaps a phenomenon that has been slightly overlooked: bromance.
Whether it means drinking one too many tequila shots and waking up inside a bin together or taking the role of the wingman for one another at a party, we've always got a bro at our side when we need him most. Bromances are good, but did you know how good they really are?
According to a small study conducted by the social scientists at the Universities of Winchester and Bedforshire, young heterosexual men feel they get more emotional satisfaction from their 'bromance' as opposed to their romantic relationships with a girlfriend. A small-scale study interviewed a total of 30 male undergraduates in relation to trust, requirements of a particular relationship, affection, connection and overall satisfaction. The concluded results were unanimous; 28 out of 30 participants agreed that their bromance had ruled over to meet their emotional needs when compared to heterosexual romantic relationships.
Whilst small, the study has significant implications for society as it is - and that might mean both good and bad news. More relaxed social standards mean that men feel more comfortable opening up to their fellow best mates and developing a deeper bond with one another, which is excellent news with regard to mental health. However, the idea of bromance could have a darker side when it comes to men's relationships with women.
Indeed, Adam White, co-author of the study, has expressed that the results may be slightly concerning due to potentially leading to sexist behaviours:
What happens in 50 years, say, if these bromantic relationships really take off and men decide, "Hang on, we really enjoy these. These are much better." We can gain more emotionality from it. We’re less regulated, we’re less policed and therefore women actually just become the sexual fulfillers of men and nothing else.
So...Would you trade in a gal for a pal?