A new study published in Men and Masculinities has suggested that young straight men prefer ‘bromances’ with other men than romantic relationships with women.

The trend indicates men are confiding in their mates instead of opening up to their female partners, more so than older generations of men.

The study showed that of the undergraduate straight men interviewed, 100 per cent reported having at least one bromantic friend with whom they engaged in behaviours such as sharing secrets, sleeping in the same bed, or expressing love.

In addition, 96 per cent of respondents said they had cuddled with their bromantic partner.

LGBTI therapist Clinton Power, director of Sydney Gay Counselling, said he’s encountered this quite often through his private counselling practice in Sydney.

“I think the rise of the bromance is a good thing because it’s a sign that men’s relationships with other men are developing to include greater intimacy, openness, and love,” he said.

“Gay men have been having bromances for as long as time and have no fear in expressing platonic affection and love for their best friends.

“Now it seems straight men are catching on to the benefits of having a bromance.”

Power adds that ten years ago only one in ten straight young men would have a bromantic friend.

“But now, on average, eight our of every ten gay males I work with in my counselling practice have a bromantic friend,” he said.

“I think there are a number of factors contributing to why this is happening.

“Men are less worried about having to conform to the stereotype of the tough Aussie bloke, decreasing homophobia in younger generations, and a growing acceptance by men that it’s okay to open up to other males.

“Straight men are learning from gay men how to develop more intimate relationships with men, and the significant emotional and psychological benefits of having bromances.”

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