The lack of vulnerability in male friendships is rooted in a misogynistic, homophobic culture that discourages emotional intimacy between men. But it’s also part of a culture that does not value adult friendship in general.
But research shows that close friendships and social networks are essential to getting by. A Brigham Young University study found that social connections — with friends, family, neighbors or colleagues — improve a person’s odds of survival by 50 percent.
In 2018, the suicide rate among men was 3.7 times higher than among women, according to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health. But some surveys show men are less likely than women to admit they are lonely, while other research suggests men derive more of their emotional intimacy from the women in their lives. In one study, married men were more likely than married women to list their spouse as their best friend.