You’ll never believe what researchers say you need to make and keep friends: empathy. Empathy! Isn’t that wild!?
In a seemingly close-to-pointless yet self-described “landmark” study at Australian Catholic University, psychologists, armed with actual institutional funding, discovered that high school students preferred to befriend people they found to be more empathetic.
Another not-so-shocking finding: Girls were more likely to choose empathetic boys as friends, yet empathetic girls “did not attract a greater number of opposite sex friends.” Because sexism.
So that’s one thing we’ve learned today about opposite-sex gender dynamics and the science of friendship. One thing we didn’t learn, however, was anything at all about the probably sizable chunk of the 1,970 students in the study who are queer, trans, or gender-noncomforming. Because heteronormativity.