Cross-Sex Friendships, Reciprocity, Compensation, Interaction Adaptation Theory, Friends With Benefits Relationships, Romantic Relationships
With more opportunities available to men and women to interact, both professionally and personally (i.e., the workplace, educational setting, community), friendships with members of the opposite sex are becoming more common. Increasingly, researchers have noted that one facet that makes cross-sex friendships unique compared to other types of relationships (i.e. romantic love, same-sex friendships, familial relationships), is that there is the possibility and opportunity for a romantic or sexual relationship to manifest. Communication research has yet to investigate how one decides whether to begin a romantic or sexual relationship or choose to remain platonic with their cross-sex friend. Given that cross-sex friendships deal with a lot of ambiguity regarding the nature of the friendship, this researcher sought to uncover what factors determine whether parties reciprocate romantic or sexual interest or opt to remain platonic through the theoretical lens of interaction adaptation theory. Specifically, the researcher sought to determine what expectations and desires predict compensation or reciprocity of romantic or sexual desires. At a large Southeastern university, quantitative data were collected from 307 participants. The results indicated that of the variables, Not Attracted, Incompatibility, and closeness were significant predictors of romantic reciprocation. In the case of 'friends with benefit' relationships, the results indicated that of the variables, Not Attracted, Sexual/Romantic Potential, sex, and sexual attitudes were significant predictors of sexual reciprocity. Further explanations of results, limitations, and future directions for research are discussed.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Akbulut, Valerie, "Predicting Compensation And Reciprocity Of Bids For Sexual And/or Romantic Escalation In Cross-sex Friendships" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4159.