Women and Men As Friends
Relationships Across the Life Span in the 21st Century
Psychology Press – 2001 – 296 pages
This monograph studies women and men as friends from a developmental perspective. Women and Men as Friends examines cross-sex friendships from early childhood through old age, then summarizes the findings and offers recommendations on how friendship between males and females can be encouraged throughout the life span.
In each chapter three themes are documented and applied to the corresponding stage of life:
*Cross-sex friendships enrich an individual's social network in generic and unique ways.
*Social and structural barriers interfere with the formation of cross-sex friendships in every stage of life.
*Cross-sex friendships affect and are affected by an individual's ongoing social construction of self throughout the life cycle.
The primary audience for the volume is scholars and students in personal relationship study (interpersonal communication, social psychology, sociology) with a secondary audience of scholars in family studies, developmental psychology, and clinical psychologists. The book can also be used as a supplemental text in graduate and undergraduate courses for the relevant disciplines.
"This welcome volume provides a thoughtful review of research from a variety of disciplines on cross-sex friendship…this accessible study will serve readers at all levels from lower-division undergraduates to faculty and professionals."
"This book fills that gap in its examination of the friendships between women and men of all ages, considering these friendships across the life span and focusing on how these friendships influence the self-concepts of the individuals in them….This volume will be of interest to scholars and students in relationship study, friendship, and gender, and is also appropriate for cognitive psychology, early childhood development, adolescence, and gerontology audiences."
"Monsour writes in an engaging yet scholarly manner, stepping back at times to comment on his own subjectivity even as he reviews the objective evidence concerning the benefits of (and barriers against) cross-sex friendships for the individuals who are involved in those relationships. Moreover, Monsour's book is sufficiently accessible to be included in graduate or advanced undergraduate courses on personal relationships; and the book is sufficiently sophisticated in synthesizing prior theories, concepts, and research into testable new hypotheses to be used as a key reference by relationship scholars. Finally, Monsour has designed the book so that each chapter can serve as a reference in its own right, although I would advise students and scholars alike to read the entire book."
—Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
"…Monsour presents the reader with insights into the nature of a relatively misunderstood relationship. He has identified important limitations to research on friendship and posits interesting questions that could, and should, form the basis of a solid and significant programme of research. These questions are possibly more important now than at any other time in history. Attitudes toward human sexuality have been radically transformed in the last century, at least in North American society. Consequently, young people are possibly more open to different types of relationships between males and females. In addition, the gap between men and women in terms of power, status, and place of work is gradually closing. Consequently, the formation of other-sex friendshps in childhood and youth may be essential for their successful adaptation into this changing world. As this book clearly suggets, we have much to learn."
—International Journal of Behavioral Development
"…Monsour's book makes a significant contribution to the study of cross-sex friendship. Although the title implies a focus on women and men, Monsour has just as much to say about girls and boys. All works have limitations, and some are severely compromised by them. But in Monsour's book the strengths far outweigh the limitations. And the limitations simply point us to future areas of investigation. Our understanding of these friendships is increased and we are better positioned for study in the 21st century."
—Contemporary Psychology, APA REVIEW OF BOOKS
Contents: S. Duck, Series Editor's Foreword. Preface. Cross-Sex Friendships and the Social Construction of Self Across the Life Span. Cross-Sex Friendships in Early Childhood (18 Months to 6 Years of Age). Cross-Sex Friendships in Middle and Late Childhood (7 to 11 Years of Age). Cross-Sex Friendships in Adolescence (12 to 17 Years of Age). Cross-Sex Friendships in Adulthood (18 to 64 Years of Age). Cross-Sex Friendships in Old Age (65 Years of Age and Up). Cross-Sex Friendships and Self-Concepts From the "Cradle to the Grave."