Skip Nav
Spring
26 Brilliant Books You Should Read This Spring
Advice
The Best Ways to Achieve an Orgasm — According to Experts
Wedding
Forget Music Festivals, This DIY Boho Wedding in Palm Springs Looked Like the Real Party

Study Finds Women Biologically Programmed to Exclude People

Girls Aren't Mean, Just Exclusive

Boys will be boys, but girls will be mean. That's a cultural stereotype, but now research has pinpointed what causes that amorphous and unpleasant dynamic to flourish so well in estrogen-laden grounds. It's competitive and judgmental, it aims right for the self-conscious, and it's very powerful. But it's not mean; well, not mean-spirited anyway.

Joyce Benenson of Emmanuel College and Harvard University found that women and men socialize in completely different ways. Women prefer close, one-on-one relationships, while men prefer groups. It's why women are far more likely to have best friends than men.

But when conflict arises, men fare better. Because they socialize in groups, they're less likely to be devastated by someone leaving or coming, while women are biologically programmed to feel threatened. Because they're used to having fewer, more intimate relationships, the ousting of a former friend or the coming of a new one causes them to fear exclusion. This, according to Benenson, is what causes females to round up the troops, build a fortress of friends, and get cliquey.

I can say with absolute certainty I've seen this cliquey behavior in men, but I can also say I've seen it even more in women. Whatever. Biology can't sit with us at lunch today!

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Colleen-Barrett Colleen-Barrett 6 years
I think that probably just means you're an extravert RoaringSilence!
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
Love the last line :) I guess I'm not a typical girl. I have never had anything even close to a best friend. It's always groups. The larger, the better.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
Love the last line :) I guess I'm not a typical girl. I have never had anything even close to a best friend. It's always groups. The larger, the better.
Britons Say Old Age Begins at 59
Pass Gym Time With Healthy Competition
How Can You Tell If You Intimidate Men?
Gifts for Your BFF
NBC Parenthood About Child With Asperger's Syndrome Making Friends
Mom Writes Note to Mean Girls in Starbucks
Kerri Walsh Discusses Playing Volleyball Competitively Months After Having a Baby
Battle of the Books Faceoff Game 2011-05-02 04:00:46
Setting Boundaries When Supporting a Recovering Addict

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds