American men are having a hard time making friends.
According to the Survey Center on American Life, men in the U.S. are experiencing a “friendship recession.”
This week, the center published an analysis of its May 2021 American Perspectives Survey, which found that all Americans are suffering from a shortage of friendships, with men faring worst.
Only about 27% of men have at least six close friends, down from 55% in 1990, according to the report. Meanwhile, the number of men without any close friends increased from 3% to 15%.
A recent analysis from the Survey Center on American Life found that the number of American men without any close friends is up from 3% to 15%. (iStock)
Single men are especially affected by the “friendship recession.” According to the survey, 20% of men who are not in a romantic relationship reported not having any close friends.
The survey also found that even when a man reported having one or two close friends, those friendships didn’t prevent him from experiencing isolation and loneliness.
Further, men are also reportedly less emotionally connected to their friends than women, according to the analysis.
The report suggested that “traditional norms of masculinity” make it harder for some men to be vulnerable and open with friends. Women, by contrast, “are more likely to put in the work” to cultivate and maintain friendships.
According to the center, the “friendship recession” trend is rooted in “lower religious involvement, lower marriage rates and greater geographic mobility.”
The workplace could also have an effect on friendships, as “Americans work longer hours, switch jobs more often and increasingly avoid coming to the office at all,” the report said.