"People's friendships aren't as different as they may seem," says Sonoma State University sociology professor Brian Gillespie, the lead author of a 25,000-subject friendship study published June 18 in the journal PLoS One. "There are, in fact, some noteworthy similarities."
It was those similarities that surprised Gillespie in the paper, Homophily, Close Friendship, and Life Satisfaction Among Gay, Lesbian, Heterosexual, and Bisexual Men and Women. "There are fewer significant differences between gay men, lesbians, and bisexual men and women and how they utilize their friendships than we expected," he says.
"The fact that these similarities exist, where we originally expected some differences based on gender composition, friendship type, and sexual orientation, points to greater gender egalitarianism and gay, lesbian and bisexual acceptance," says Gillespie.