“Can a man and woman be friends?” with Yeti

Can men and women who are straight ever be “just friends”? Few other topics have sparked as passionate discussions, awkward family dinners, graphic literature, or memorable films. The query has not yet been resolved. Common men and women not only live, work, and play side by side, but they can also form non-romantic friendships, and they typically seem to be able to avoid accidentally falling asleep together. However, there’s still a chance that this ostensibly platonic relationship is only a front, a complex dance masking many sexual urges boiling just below the surface. There may be some validity to the notion that we can be “just friends” with people of the opposite sex, but “romance” opportunities are frequently waiting just around the corner. Researchers invited 88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends into a science lab to evaluate the viability of really platonic opposite-sex friendships, a topic that has been explored more on the big screen than in a science lab. For instance, privacy was crucial because of the potential repercussions if two friends discovered that only one of them had harboured sexual affections for the other all throughout their friendship. The researchers asked both companions to verbally promise in front of each other to refrain from discussing the study even after they left the testing facility, in addition to following usual norms for anonymity and confidentiality.

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