The Importance of Female Friendships

If you know me, you know my friends are really important to me. I cherish the people I keep close and I have been known to forgo responsibilities that I don’t really want to tend to (cleaning my room, folding my laundry, the occasional homework assignment) so that I can be around the people I love. I have a huge case of FOMO. That being said, the vast majority of my friendships both past and present have been women (or girls). I’ve always wondered why it is that I would much rather hang out with other women most of the time and I finally found my answer: SCIENCE.

girls wearing sports team shirts holding up hand hearts Jenna Ward

It’s true. Female friendships are important because of evolution. You may have heard of the “fight or flight” response humans have to stress. Well, these responses to stress are explained in terms of the biological and behavioral, but they ignore one key component— the social. The social response to stress is to tend and befriend. Thousands of years ago, this meant that women’s response to stress was to tend to the children and befriend the women. Shelley Taylor of the UCLA Psychology Department in her research explains that while men are also capable of the social response to stress, “A gender difference exists such that women are somewhat more likely to seek and use social support in response to stress than men are.”

two women wrapped in a hug on the beach Jenna Ward

While I could continue to back up my reasoning with science, I’m going to, instead, give my own personal reasons why I think female friendships are important.

1. Women understand women. They get what it is like to be a woman in today’s society. They can commiserate and that’s worth more than your bro Jake telling you that that is “just the way the world works.”

2. Women’s clothing sizes are not standardized which means you can generally find at least one thing that fits in most of your friends’ closets. This is how I have decided to justify this typically annoying obstacle that confuses me every time I try to shop for jeans. Am I a size 26? Am I size 4? I still don’t know. But I do know I can fit into my friend Brittany’s size 6 high waisted Levi’s and that is what matters.

3. They always understand that sometimes you didn’t mean what you said before, you just needed a nap and a good cry. I’ve even had some of my friends excuse me before I can apologize for being snotty.

4. They always have a tampon or a pad handy. Period.

5. They want you to be happy and succeed, they give it to you straight and even when they don’t it’s because they know what you needed to hear.

My mom has always told me “you can never have too many friends,” and as my mother would tell you, she is never wrong. My advice? You can never have too many girlfriends. Keep them close. Trust your tribe.

five women in black and red dresses standing in front of a brick wall Jenna Ward

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!