It starts early. Little girls give each other broken heart necklaces for their birthdays while boys have paintball parties. While boys are encouraged to participate in sports and group activities, us girls are pushed to more one-on-one activities like tea parties or making Barbies have sex under a blanket. Studies show that there are different friendship styles for boys and girls. In one, when middle school girls were faced with the prospect of meeting a new friend, their brains lit up in areas associated with pleasure and reward. Boy brains’ just didn’t do the same thing.
My “anecdotal evidence” from the field? Over the years, I could actually feel my brain light up when it became clear that a new friend would earn the title of “best.” I’ve learned that these relationships are just as valuable as any amorous one and that they do indeed have their own sense of romance.
For me, they also bring about a whole lot of crazy. Keep reading »