Why Do So Many Straight Women Like To Befriend Gay Men?

As a gay man we keep our friends close and out frenemies closer.  But when it comes to straight women, are some of them closer than our gay male friends?  And how do we get mixed up with straight women in the first place. 

In a recent study shared in the Mashable.com article Why So Many Straight Women Like To Befriend Gay Men, researchers look at the trend of gay men being befriended by straight women.

For years, friendships between straight women and gay men have been a subject of pop culture fascination. Bookstelevision shows and feature length films have all highlighted this unique relationship, noted for its closeness and depth.

But with society’s attitudes toward gays and lesbians changing, it’s become all the more important to build a holistic understanding of the relationships between gay and straight people.

As a researcher in social psychology, I’ve often wondered: why do straight female-gay male relationships work so well? Why are straight women so drawn to having gay men as friends? And when do these relationships typically form?

During the course of my research, I’ve discovered that the most interesting, compelling — and, arguably, most theoretically coherent — explanation is through the lens of evolution.

Specifically, I believe evolutionary psychology and human mating can help explain why relationships between straight women and gay men tend to flourish.

A safe bet

…   In other words, because gay men are attracted to their own gender, they’re a “safe bet” for women — at least, from a sociobiological standpoint.  …

The experiments, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, demonstrated that straight women and gay men perceived one another to be trustworthy sources of relationship and dating advice. In other words, when it came to dating-related matters, there was an almost instantaneous level of implicit trust.  Still, more needed to be done to support the hypothesis.

Cracking the why and when

Recently, my colleagues and I at the University of Texas at Arlington developed a series of four related studies.

We titled the four studies “Why (and When) Straight Women Trust Gay Men: Ulterior Mating Motives and Female Competition,” with the hope of better establishing why straight women trust gay men and when straight women would be most likely to seek out gay men for friendship and guidance.  …

It turns out straight women only trusted a gay man’s advice about a potential boyfriend more than the same advice from, say, a straight man or another straight woman. In other words, it’s not like straight women totally trusted gay men on all matters. It really only had to do with one thing: dating and relationships.  …

As expected, the female subjects seemed to perceive the judgments coming from the gay man to be more sincere because they knew that he wouldn’t have any ulterior motives — whether that meant wooing the subject (which they might suspect of straight men) or competing for the same romantic partner (straight women).  …

Beyond dating advice

The downside is that if a straight woman values her gay male friends only for dating advice, the relationship could become quite superficial (see Chris Riotta’s essay “I’m Gay, Not Your Accessory”).  However, the strong trust that women initially form with gay men can serve as a primer; eventually, this trust could extend to other areas, with the friendship blossoming over time.  … – Mashable.com

Do you see this in your gay guy / straight woman relationship?

Have you ever sought out friendship of a straight woman or does it just happen?

Have you been chased by a straight woman wanting your friendship and you have had to "shut it down?"

And do we have an unspoken limit of one excellent relationship with a straight woman and the rest are just acquaintances?

What other well known gay guy / straight girl movie or videos can you think of besides the ones pictured above?

There is a lot more to the study above.  For the full article Why So Many Straight Women Like To Befriend Gay Men, head on over to Mashable.com


3 thoughts on “Why Do So Many Straight Women Like To Befriend Gay Men?”

  1. I had a wonderful 25 year

    I had a wonderful 25 year insanely close relationship with a heterosexual woman. She passed away from cancer with me at her side. In the days leading up to her death I thanked her for a quarter century of unconditional acceptance, love and companionship. She was a perfect example of enlightened humanity. Her name was Cheryl. I will always love her and keep her memory alive. 

    Thank you for a lifetime of laughs Cheryl,



  2. I always assumed women were

    I always assumed women were drawn to friendships with gay men because they were non-threatening in a very literal way–this dude won't try to rape and kill me. Women do not perceive gay men as a threat, in a similar way we don't perceive other women as a threat. I trust my male gay friends to  look out for me, not spike my drink, and not to get caught up in misogynistic culture. There may be -an added factor in gay men being non-threatening from a romantic point, but I think it starts with women not being fearful of gay men. 

  3. i have a gay BF and he’s a

    i have a gay BF and he's a very special and a very sweet guy, i feel safe around him and i can be myself, smiley


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