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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Many theories of cross-group friendship are based on the assumption that friends are inherently equal in status. This chapter discusses the idea that, even among same-sex friends, this assumption may be premature. It compares evidence for two contrasting arguments concerning competition between female friends: (a) intrasexual competition is highest among friends, and (b) friendship nullifies competition between friends. The chapter argues that equality may not be as normative in close friendships as the field has intuitively assumed. It also discusses how acknowledging and embracing these differences can lead to better predictions for the role of close relationships in interpersonal dominance and cooperation.

Keywords: female friends, friendship, equality, competition, intrasexual competition, interpersonal dominance, cooperation

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