A UK study dives into the ‘bromance’ relationship in the new millennium recently, interviewing a group of straight, mostly white male undergraduates coming out the University of Winchester’s Sport and Exercise department. The team focused on how these millennials viewed and compared romantic versus bromance relationships.
The team talked to about 30 male students via a somewhat structured interview process. Participants were questioned on the definition of bromance, the difference between a regular friendship and a bromance, as well as the differing elements between a romance with the opposite sex and bromance.
As the team noted, the male students within the study relayed the idea the physical and emotional elements within a bromance can mirror those of a romantic relationship. Moreover, love declaration, cuddling, kissing, and that feeling of exclusivity when it comes to emotional confidence can be the same as that of a romantic coupledom.
Out of the 30 men in the study, 29 stated they had cuddled with a friend of the same sex and many relayed it occurred frequently. One participant noted that bromance cuddling is a usual thing in a friendship group and not viewed as sexual. It’s a sign of caring.
Medical News Today reported that the research team noted that the increase in acceptance of the bromance phenomena can largely be pointed to a decrease in homophobia. However the bad news is, it might be creating a rivalry between sexes as the males who participated viewed their female romantic companions as ‘regulators’ around their behavior. It seemingly created a ‘them versus us’ mentality, where the male participants offered some sexist views around their female counterparts and used derogatory terms when describing them.
Bad news for girlfriends, but great news for their bros.
Still, the authors do note some study limitations. First and foremost, the interviewer was a male, so respondents could have answered questions biasedly. Secondly, the pool was small: with only 30 men, who all came from the same department and university. The males were mostly white (29 of them), with limited diversity to add to the research.
Still, with the term coined and highly used in today’s pop culture verbiage, seems like the bromance is here to stay. Women everywhere should be concerned. Still, it’s nice to know that men are experience the same kind of BFF relationship that females have loved for years now.