James wrote to us through the Public Insight Network,
"I am likely a bad sample to choose for this, as I am an extreme introvert and in terms of “close personal friends”, very, very few.
"I have several acquaintances and I interact with many people on a social level, generally when my spouse sets something up and I am expected to go with her.
"The stereotypical “male bonding, beer drinking, deer hunting, fishing whatever” is as far away from my life style as I can possibly imagine.
"Truth be told, I much prefer the company of dogs to the vast majority of humans I have encountered. Or reading a book, or listening to MPR."
Matthew wrote to us through the Public Insight Network:
" I'm a little confused by the question. While I have observed men who do not make many close friends, I do not know if they have a "harder time" doing so. Is the comparison to women, who are supposed to make friends easily? Really, I think gender has nothing to do with how easily one makes friends. Instead, the ability to befriend has a lot to do with one's role models. The men I see who have difficulty befriending had male role models who used friendship for business purposes, i.e. to make a living, but not for emotional support."
From Michael via the Public Insight Network:
"The very basis of the question is incorrect - it presumes that making friends is a high priority for me, and if you just look at psychological type, such as the myers-briggs type indicator, you'll see that men generally prefer Introversion (55%) over Extraversion and prefer Thinking (75%) over Feeling (aka values/rapport). So they don't care to - it's not a priority."
@ellen Does he mind not having many friends? As Michael said, many people just don't care about making friends.
Glenn via the Public Insight Network:
"Our culture is the culprit, mostly. Our society is based too much on competition and consumption of things, instead of collaboration and fulfillment through human bonding. Then there's homophobia. Homophobia hurts straight men in ways that are seldom recognized, since the fear that one "might be gay" or that another man might make unexpected sexual advances keeps men more distant from each other.
"Another factor is how family life is "supposed" to work - the women at home with the men on the job all day. Families have changed dramatically since this was the norm, but the world of work still pulls men more away from home and community and more to work long hours on the job. In addition to all this, there is still some perception that men, when compared to women, are more crude, typically slobs, prone to violent behavior, socially inept, etc., all of which mak es it more difficult to get close, emotionally."
Kevin said via the Public Insight Network:
"Several of my closest friends are from college. The shared crucible of the college experience during a very formative part of most peoples' lives contributes to the bathos underpinning these enduring friendships. It seems to me, men create friends easily when in a shared, us against them, foxhole condition. For a number of reasons, these foxholes disappear with age and hence, the decline in the quantity/quality of friends. "