From Will and Grace to Hannah and Elijah on Lena Dunhan's clever series Girls, some of the most iconic relationships in pop culture are between straight women and gay men. In this generation, the close bond has been launched into a cliche of sorts, with society often insensitively likening these relationships to nothing more than a trend; straight women touting around their gay best friends, or GBF, like an add-on accessory.
Researchers created a fictional Facebook profile of a person named Jordan. Variations of Jordan - with different genders and sexual orientations - were then presented to 88 heterosexual women and 58 homosexual men. Based solely on the Facebook profile, participants were told to imagine a relationship with Jordan and envision different hypothetical situations, such as getting dressed for a party and getting an assessment of a potential new boyfriend or girlfriend.
Researchers then asked participants how much they would trust Jordan's relationship advice. The results showed that straight women found gay men to be more trustworthy in doling out relationship-related advice than a straight man or woman.
Similarly, gay men were more trusting of straight women for relationship advice than straight men or lesbians. Gay men also found straight women to be more likely to help them find a potential romantic interest, according to the study.
Overall, the results point to what we already knew: straight women and gay men form close bonds because they can mutually benefit from unbiased relationship advice. And there's the lack of romantic competition and confusing "maybe-we're-more-than-friends" mixed feelings.
But most importantly, according to researchers, the friendship is based on trust.