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A mind of her ownThe evolutionary psychology of women$
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Anne Campbell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609543.001.0001

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Like a sister: Women and friendship

Like a sister: Women and friendship

Chapter:
(p.145) Chapter 5 Like a sister: Women and friendship
Source:
A mind of her own
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609543.003.0005

Women’s friendships are more intense and exclusive than those of men. The intimacy of female friendship is surprising because, to avoid inbreeding, women typically left their natal group to live with strangers. The friendships women develop with one another mimic the close “communal” relations normally found between blood relatives, with a strong focus on empathy and responsiveness to others’ needs. These close bonds may even have supported mutual child care. This contrasts with male friendships which are based on an equitable exchange of give-and-take and which can be disrupted by shifting tactical alliances.

Keywords:   friendship, philopatry, exogamy, allomothering, reciprocal altruism

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