Gender and Communication

Dr. Marcia D. Dixson

Building Bridges Between the Sexes

through Understanding of our Differences and Similarities



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Questions to Guide your Reading of

Chapter 6 Gender Communication: "Just Among Friends"

1. What are the differences between male same-sex and female same-sex friendships?

2. Are male same-sex or female same-sex friendships more intimate? By what definition of intimacy?

3. Do you agree with the statement: "male friends are important but replaceable; men tend to have more numerous but less intimate same-sex friendships than women" (p. 220).

4. Is there a feminine bias in the research?

5. Can truly platonic cross-sex relationships exist between heterosexuals? Can truly platonic same-sex relationships exist between homosexuals?

6. What does the term "friends with benefits" mean? Are these really "just" friends? (this term is not in your book but referred to in the section "sexual activity between "just friends").

Suggestions for mini-projects:

1. Are schools still creating sex segregation of friendships?

2. Does the "need to belong" exert a great deal of control over a man's behavior?

3. Are males prohibited from touching other males?

4. Do contemporary young people travel in "herds"? How does this affect cross-sex friendships?

5. What pressures does society place on cross-sex friendships?

6. Are there any models (media,etc.) of successful cross-sex friendships?

7. Does jocular sparring only occur between men and in established cross-sex friendships?