Well, there's science and there's science. There's the science that's way beyond what your average bear can wrap his mind around (Higgs-Boson what now?), and then there's the "what goes up must come down" kind of stuff, where science affirms something that common sense already knows.
In the latter category comes this recent article in the Huffington Post, addressing a question that we all thought was capably handled by Nora Ephron some years ago: "Platonic Friendships: Men & Women Can't Be Just Friends, Research Suggests." Some of the scientific conclusions sounded to me a bit like something out of the Onion, but hey, not laughing, because: science.
Here's my favorite part of what the scientific researchers reported, after having done their study:
The results suggest large gender differences in how men and women experience opposite-sex friendships. Men were much more attracted to their female friends than vice versa. Men were also more likely than women to think that their opposite-sex friends were attracted to them—a clearly misguided belief. In fact, men’s estimates of how attractive they were to their female friends had virtually nothing to do with how these women actually felt, and almost everything to do with how the men themselves felt—basically, males assumed that any romantic attraction they experienced was mutual, and were blind to the actual level of romantic interest felt by their female friends.
To which, when you stop giggling, you might only say: No! Really? And all I can really say in my gender's defence is, we were made this way. But the folks at HuffPost Live, in their infinite wisdom, asked me to say more. A few days ago I participated in a panel discussion on this topic of opposite-sex friendships, prompted by the article. And because I'm a sharing sort of guy, I'm providing you with the link of the live-streamed show we did, a near half an hour of scintillating conversation.
It's the second time I've done one of these HuffPost things, and they're pretty neat; you meet interesting people, and host Alicia Menendez is a smart, savvy cookie. Here's the link to a show I did with a different group about the ominous effects of romantic comedy movies and TV on relationships in real life, in case you missed it. A less science-based discussion, but no less lively.
Please enjoy it all at your leisure, while I go outside to enjoy the unseasonable Californian weather, having heard - scientists theorize, at least - that the sky out there is blue.