"I love you, man": Overt expressions of affection in male-male interaction

Mark T. Morman, Kory Floyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Despite the importance of affectionate communication for relational development and maintenance, individuals expressing affection incur a number of risks, including possible misinterpretation of the expressions as sexual overtures. These risks appear to be magnified in the male-male relationship, where overt expressions of affection may be all but prohibited by normative expectancies. The present study examines expectancies for appropriate male-male affection. Although empirical research supports the idea that overt affection is considered less appropriate in male-male relationships than in relationships with women, it also suggests that three variables may moderate this expectancy: relationship type, emotional intensity of the context, and privacy level of the context. An experimental procedure with 140 men (approximately 95% caucasian) confirmed the moderating effects of these variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-881
Number of pages11
JournalSex Roles
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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