Study: Men and Women can't be "just friends"

Scientific American recently reported on a study that confirms what Hollywood has been trying to tell us all along: Men and women can't be "just friends" because one is always interested in either sex or romance with the other.

According to the researchers, "cross-sex friendships are a historically recent phenomenon." Yes, the idea and the practice of having a guy friend is actually a modern thing. Back in the day, men and women only interacted for mating purposes. Then arranged marriages fell out of vogue (in our culture), and the platonic opposite-sex friendship rose in popularity. 

So what did the researchers find?

Across the board, men were more attracted to their female friends than were women attracted to their male friends. Interestingly, the researchers noted that men's level of attraction was closely related to whether the men believed their female friends were attracted to them (um, hello, ego?). The researchers also measured attraction by defining attraction as either romantic or physical.

According to their findings, emerging adults (ages 18-27) are more likely to be romantically interested in an opposite-sex friend than adults over 27. Respondents believed that attraction caused more problems in a friendship than created benefits. The majority of the over-27 crowd they surveyed were married. Does this mean that some spouses avoid temptation? If so, there's hope for marriage yet!

You can read the study yourself here